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PSEUDODOXIA EPIDEMICA, books 4 to 7... 1 to 374 
The Fourth Book ; the particular part continued. 
Of many popular and received tenets con- 
cerning man. 
Chap. 1. That only man hath an erect figure . 1 to 4 
Chap. 2. That the heart is on the left side . 5 to 7 
Chap. 3. That pleurisies are only on the left 

side 7 to 8 

Chap. 4. Of the ring finger 8 to 13 

Chap. 5. Of the right and left hand . . . 13 to 23 
Chap. 6. On swimming and floating . .24 to 27 

Chap. 7. That men weigh heavier dead than 

alive, and before meat than after . . . 28 to 31 
Chap. 8. That there are several passages for 

meat and drink 31 to 32 

Chap. 9. On saluting upon sneezing . . . 33 to 36 

Chap. 10. That Jews stink 36 to 43 

Chap. 11. Of pygmies 43 to 47 

Chap. 12. Of the great climacterical year, that 

is, sixty-three 47 to 68 

Chap. 13. Of the canicular or dog-days . . 69 to 85 
The Fifth Book ; the particular part continued. 
Of many things questionable as they are 
commonly described in pictures; of many 
popular customs, &c. 
Chap. 1. Of the picture of the pelican . . 87 to 90 
Chap. 2. Of the picture of dolphins . . . 90 to 92 
Chap. 3. Of the picture of a grasshopper . 92 to 95 
Chap. 4. Of the picture of the serpent tempt- 
ing Eve 95 to 99 



Chap. 5. Of the picture of Adam and Eve with 

navels 99 to 102 

Chap. 6. Of the pictures of the Jews and 
Eastern Nations, at their feasts, especially 
our Saviour at the Passover .... 102 to 110 
Chap. 7. Of the picture of our Saviour with 

long hair Ill to 112 

Chap. 8. Of the picture of Abraham sacrificing 

Isaac 113 to 114 

Chap. 9. Of the picture of Moses with horns 114 to 116 
Chap. 10. Of the scutcheons of the twelve 

tribes of Israel 117 to 122 

Chap. 11. Of the pictures of the sybils . 122 to 123 
Chap. 12. Of the picture describing the death 

of Cleopatra 124 to 126 

Chap. 13. Of the pictures of the nine worthies 127 to 131 
Chap. 14. Of the picture of Jephthah sacrific- 
ing his daughter 131 to 134 

Chap. 15. Of the picture of John the Baptist 

in a camel's skin 134 to 136 

Chap. 16. Of the picture of St. Christopher 136 to 138 
Chap. 17. Of the picture of St. George . 138 to 140 
Chap. 18. Of the picture of St. Jerome . 141 to 143 
Chap. 19. Of the pictures of mermaids, uni- 
corns, and some others 143 to 148 

Chap. 20. Of the hieroglyphical pictures of the 

Egyptians 148 to 152 

Chap. 21. Of the picture of Haman hanged 153 to 155 
Chap. 22. Of the picture of God the Father ; 

of the sun, moon, and winds, with others 156 to 161 
Chap. 23. Compendiously of many popular cus- 
toms, opinions, &c 162 to 173 

Chap. 24. Of popular customs, opinions, &c. 174 to 184 
The Sixth Book; the particular part continued. 
Of popular and received tenets, cosmographi- 
cal, geographical, and historical. 
Chap. 1. Concerning the beginning of the 
world, that the time thereof is not precisely 
known, as commonly it is presumed . . 185 to 200 



Chap. 2. Of men's enquiries in what season or 
point of the Zodiack it began, that, as they 
are generally made, they are in vain, and as 
particularly, uncertain . . . . . . 201 to 203 

Chap. 3. Of the divisions of the seasons and 

four quarters of the year, &c. . . . 204 to 209 

Chap. 4. Of some computation of days and de- 
ductions of one part of the year unto another 210 to 213 
Chap. 5. A digression of the wisdom of God 

in the site and motion of the sun . . 213 to 219 
Chap. 6. Concerning the vulgar opinion that 
the earth was slenderly peopled before the 

flood 219 to 235 

Chap. 7. Of east and west . . . . 236 to 246 

Chap. 8. Of the river Nilus .... 246 to 259 

Chap. 9. Of the red sea 259 to 262 

Chap. 10. Of the blackness of Negroes . 263 to 275 

Chap. 11. Of the same 275 to 280 

Chap. 12. A digression concerning blackness 281 to 287 

Chap. 13. Of gypsies 287 to 290 

Chap. 14. Of some others 290 to 293 

The Seventh Book ; the particular part concluded. 
Of popular and received tenets, chiefly his- 
torical, and some deduced from the Holy 
Chap. 1. That the forbidden fruit was an apple 295 to 299 
Chap. 2. That a man hath one rib less than a 

woman 299 to 301 

Chap. 3. Of Methuselah 301 to 304 

Chap. 4. That there was no rainbow before the 

flood 304 to 308 

Chap. 5. Of Shem, Ham, and Japheth . 308 to 310 
Chap. 6. That the tower of Babel was erected 

against a second deluge 310 to 312 

Chap. 7. Of the mandrakes of Leah . . 312 to 317 
Chap. 8. Of the three kings of Collein . 317 to 319 
Chap. 9. Of the food of John Baptist, locust 

and wild honey 319 to 321 

Chap. 10. That John the Evangelist should 

not die 321 to 326 

Chap. 11. Of some others more briefly . . 326 to 329 
Chap. 12. Of the cessation of oracles . . 329 to 332 
Chap. 13. Of the death of Aristotle . . 332 to 338 
Chap. 14. Of the wish of Philoxenus to have 

the neck of a crane 338 to 341 

Chap. 15. Of the lake Asphaltites . . 341 to 345 
Chap. 16. Of clivers other relations : viz. of 
the woman that conceived in a bath ; of 
Crassus that never laughed but once, &c. 345 to 353 
Chap. 17. Of some others : viz. of the poverty 
of Belisarius ; of fluctus decumanus, or the 
tenth wave ; of Parisatis that poisoned Sa- 
tira by one side of a knife ; of the woman 
fed with poison that should have poisoned 
Alexander ; of the wandering Jew ; of Friar 
Bacon's brazen head that spoke; of Epicurus 353 to 362 
Chap. 18. More briefly of some others: viz. 
that the army of Xerxes drank whole rivers 
dry; that Hannibal cut through the Alps 
with vinegar ; of Archimedes his burning; the 
ships of Marcellus ; of the Fabii that were 
all slain ; of the death of iEschylus ; of the 
cities of Tarsus and Anthiale built in one 
day ; of the great ship Syracusia or Alexan- 
dria ; of the Spartan boys .... 362 to 369 
Chap. 19. Of some relations whose truth we 

fear 370 to 374 

THE GARDEN OF CYRUS .... 375 to 448 

Editor's preface to the Garden of Cyrus, Hy- 

driotaphia, and Brampton Urns . . . 377 to 380 

HYDRIOTAPHIA 449 to '496 

BRAMPTON URNS ... 497 to 505 





That only Man hath an erect figure. 

That only man hath an erect figure, and for to behold and 
look up toward heaven, according to that of the poet: * 

Pronaque cum spectant animalia csetera terrain, 
Os homini sublime dedit, ccelumque tueri 
Jussit, et erectos ad sydera tollere vultus. 

is a double assertion, whose first part may be true if we take 
erectness strictly, and so as Galen hath defined it, for they 
only, saith he, have an erect figure, whose spine and thigh bone 
are carried in right lines, and so indeed, of any we yet know, 
man only is erect. 2 For the thighs of other animals do stand 
at angles with their spine, and have rectangular positions in 
birds, and perfect quadrupeds. Nor doth the frog, though 
stretched out, or swimming, attain the rectitude of man, or 

1 The poet.] Ovid. Met. i, 84. See ing a perfectly erect attitude, and though 
also Cicero, De Nat. Deor. ii, 56. they occasionally assume aposition nearly 

2 Man only is erect.] But itt is most so, yet even this they cannot long retain, 
evident that baboones and apes doe not Their narrowness of pelvis, the con- 
only .... as a man, but goe as erect figuration of their thighs and lower ex- 
also. — Wr. tremities, the situation of their flex or 

This is incorrect. Man alone, un- muscles, and the want of muscular calves 

questionably, is constructed for an erect and buttocks, constitute together an in- 

position. The apes, which resemble him capacity for perfect or continued verticity 

in their conformation more closely than of attitude in the quadrimuna. 
any other animals, are incapable of attain- 



carry its thigh without all angularity. And thus is it also 
true, that man only sitteth, if we define sitting to be a firma- 
tion of the body upon the ischias ; wherein, if the position 
be just and natural, the thigh-bone lieth at right angles to 
the spine, and the leg-bone or tibia to the thigh. For others, 
when they seem to sit, as dogs, cats, or lions, do make unto 
their spine acute angles with their thigh, and acute to the 
thigh with their shank. Thus is it likewise true, what Aris- 
totle allegeth in that problem, why man alone suffereth 
pollutions in the night, because man only lieth upon his 
back, — if we define not the same by every supine position, 
but when the spine is in rectitude with the thigh, and both 
with the arms lie parallel to the horizon, so that aline through 
their navel will pass through the zenith and centre of the 
earth. And so cannot other animals lie upon their backs, 
for though the spine lie parallel with the horizon, yet will 
their legs incline, and lie at angles unto it. And upon these 
three divers positions in man, wherein the spine can only be 
at right lines with the thigh, arise those remarkable postures, 
prone, supine, and erect, which are but differenced in situa- 
tion, or angular postures upon the back, the belly, and the feet. 
But if erectness be popularly taken, and as it is largely op- 
posed unto proneness, or the posture of animals looking 
downwards, carrying their venters or opposite part of the 
spine directly towards the earth, it may admit of question. 
For though in serpents and lizards we may truly allow a 
proneness, yet Galen acknowledgeth that perfect quadrupeds, 
as horses, oxen, and camels, are but partly prone, and have 
some part of erectness ; and birds, or flying animals, are so far 
from this kind of proneness, that they are almost erect ; ad- 
vancing the head and breast in their progression, and only 
prone in the act of volitation or flying ; and if that be true 
which is delivered of the penguin or anser Magellanicus, often 
described in maps about those straits, that they go erect like 
men, and with their breast and belly do make one line per- 
pendicular unto the axis of the earth, it will almost make up 
the exact erectness of man.* Nor will that insect come very 

* Observe also the Vrias Bellonii and Mergus major. 


short, which we have often beheld, that is, one kind of locust 
which stands not prone, or a little inclining upward, but in a 
large erectness, elevating always the two fore legs, and sus- 
taining itself in the middle of the other four; by zoographers 
called mantis, and by the common people of Provence, Prega 
Dio, the prophet and praying locust, as being generally found 
in the posture of supplication, or such as resembleth ours, 
when we lift up our hands to heaven. 

As for the end of this erection, to look up toward heaven, 
though confirmed by several testimonies, and the Greek 
etymology of man, it is not so readily to be admitted; and, as 
a popular and vain conceit, was anciently rejected by Galen, 
who in his third De usu partium, determines that man is 
erect, because he was made with hands, and was therewith 
to exercise all arts, which in any other figure he could not 
have performed, as he excellently declareth in that place 
where he also proves that man could have been made neither 
quadruped nor centaur. 3 

And for the accomplishment of that intention, that is, to 
look up and behold the heavens, man hath a notable dis- 
advantage in the eye-lid, whereof the upper is far greater 
than the lower, which abridgeth the sight upwards contrary 
to those of birds, who herein have the advantage of man; 
insomuch that the learned Plempius * is bold to affirm, that if 
he had had the formation of the eye-lids, he would have con- 
trived them quite otherwise. 4 

The ground and occasion of that conceit was a literal 
apprehension of a figurative expression in Plato, as Galen 
thus delivers : to opinion that man is erect to look up and 
behold heaven, is a conceit only fit for those that never saw 
the fish ziranoscopus, 5 that is, the beholder of heaven, which 

* Ophthalmographia. 

3 man could have been, SfC.~\ Why superior mechanical adaptation of the 

not as well as an ape, if that reason be human hand to the exercise of the arts 

good ; for an ape uses his hand as well and occupations of life. The opinion 

as man, and yett hee is quadrupes too. quoted by our author that man could not 

Wir. — Incorrect again. Apes cannot use become quadruped, is incontrovertible, 
their hands as well as man, because des- 4 And for the accomplishment, fyc] 

titute of the facility which man possesses This paragraph first added in 2nd edit, 
for the free use of his hands and arms, 5 To opinion, 8fC.~\ This isapoorecavil, 

in the erect position, and because of the for the end of mans lookinge upward is 

B 2 


hath its eyes so placed, that it looks up directly to heaven 
which man doth not, except he recline, or bend his head 
backward ; and thus to look up to heaven agreeth not only 
unto man but asses ; to omit birds with long necks, which 
look not only upward, but round about at pleasure; and 
therefore men of this opinion understood not Plato when he 
saith, that man doth sursum aspicere ; for thereby was not 
meant to gape, or look upward with the eye, but to have his 
thoughts sublime, and not only to behold, but speculate their 
nature with the eye of the understanding. 6 

Now although Galen in this place makes instance but in 
one, yet are there other fishes whose eyes regard the heavens, 
as plane and cartilaginous fishes, as pectinals, or such as have 
their bones made literally like a comb, for when they apply 
themselves to sleep or rest upon the white side, their eyes on 
the other side look upward toward heaven. For birds, they 
generally carry their heads erected like a man, and have ad- 
vantage in their upper eye-lid, and many that have long 
necks, and bear their heads somewhat backward, behold far 
more of the heavens, and seem to look above the equinoctial 
circle ; and so also in many quadrupeds, although their pro- 
gression be partly prone, yet is the sight of their eye direct, 
not respecting the earth but heaven, and makes an higher 
arch of latitude than our own. The position of a frog with 
his head above water exceedeth these ; for therein he seems 
to behold a large part of the heavens, and the acies of his eye 
to ascend as high as the tropic ; but he that hath beheld the 
posture of a bittern, will not deny that it beholds almost the 
very zenith. 7 

not the same with uranoscopus, to which sayd plainlye, Astronomie causa datos 
the same is equivocal, bycause this pos- esse homini oculns, but not to other crea- 
ture, being always at the botom, hee tures, though they have their heads more 
lookes alwayes upwards, not to heaven, erect then hee, and far better sight. — Wr. 
but as watching for his foode flooting 7 The posture of a bittern, $fc.~\ Which 
over his head ; the question then is, not proceeds from his timorous and jealous 
whether any other creatures have the nature, holding his head at hight, for 
head erect as man, but whether to the discovery, not enduring any man to 
same ende. — Wr. come neere : his neck is stretch out, but 
6 Understood not Plato, §c.~\ This is his bill stands like the cranes, hem- 
too pedanticall and captious: for Plato shawes, &c. — Wr. 



That the Heart is on the left side. 

That the heart of man is seated in the left side is an asse- 
veration, which, strictly taken, is refutable by inspection, 
whereby it appears the base and centre thereof is in the midst 
of the chest ; true it [is, that the mucro or point thereof in- 
clineth unto the left, for by this position it giveth way unto 
the ascension of the midriff, and by reason of the hollow vein 
could not commodiously deflect unto the right. From which 
diversion, nevertheless, we cannot so properly say 'tis placed 
in the left, as that it consisteth in the middle, that is, where 
its centre riseth ; for so do we usually say a gnomon 8 or needl e 
is in the middle of a dial, although the extremes may respect 
the north or south, and approach the circumference thereof. 

The ground of this mistake is a general observation from 
the pulse or motion of the heart, which is more sensible on 
this side; but the reason hereof is not to be drawn from the 
situation of the heart, but the site of the left ventricle wherein 
the vital spirits are laboured, and also the great artery that 
conveyeth them out, both which are situated on the left. 
Upon this reason epithems or cordial applications are justly 
applied unto the left breast, and the wounds under the fifth 
rib may be more suddenly destructive, if made on the sinister 
side, and the spear of the soldier that pierced our Saviour, 
is not improperly described, when painters direct it a little 
towards the left. 

The other ground is more particular and upon inspection ; 
for in dead bodies, especially lying upon the spine, the heart 
doth seem to incline upon the left ; which happeneth not 
from its proper site, but besides its sinistrous gravity, is 

8 Gnomon.'] There is not the same on the substilar line, which declines 
reason of a gnomon and a needle. This east or west, as the place does, wherein 
is ever in the midst, but a gnomon stands 'tis drawne. — Wr. 


drawn that way by the great artery, which then subsideth 
and haleth the heart unto it ; and thereof strictly taken, the 
heart is seated in the middle of the chest, but after a careless 
and inconsiderate inspection, or according to the readiest 
sense of pulsation, we shall not quarrel if any affirm it is 
seated toward the left. And in these considerations must 
Aristotle be salved, when he affirmeth the heart of man is 
placed in the left side, and thus in a popular acception may 
we receive the periphrasis of Persius, when he taketh the 
part under the left pap for the heart,* and if rightly appre- 
hended, it concerneth not this controversy, when it is said 
in Ecclesiastes, the heart of a wise man is in the right side, 
but that of a fool in the left ; for thereby may be implied, 
that the heart of a wise man delighteth in the right way, or 
in the path of virtue ; that of a fool in the left, or road of 
vice, according to the mystery of the letter of Pythagoras, 
or that expression in Jonah, concerning sixscore thousand, 
that could not discern between their right hand and their 
left, or knew not good from evil. 9 

That assertion also that man proportionally hath the 
largest brain, 1 I did I confess somewhat doubt, and conceived 
it might have failed in birds, especially such as having little 
bodies, have yet large cranies, and seem to contain much 
brain, as snipes, woodcocks, &c. But upon trial I find it 
very true. The brains of a man, Archangelus and Bauhinus 
observe to weigh four pounds, and sometimes five and a half. 
If therefore a man weigh one hundred and forty pounds, and 
his brain but five, his weight is twenty seven times as much 
as his brain, deducting the weight of that five pounds which 
is allowed for it. Now in a snipe, which weighed four ounces 
two drachms, I find the brains to weigh but half a drachm, 
so that the weight of the body, allowing for the brain, ex- 
ceeded the weight of the brain sixty-seven times and a half. 

* Leva: in parte mamilla. 

9 For thereby, #c] This concluding part of the brain," that is, of that part of this 

of the sentence was first added in 2nd organ which serves as the principal in- 

edition. strument of the intellectual operations. — 

1 Man hath, $"c] This is most especially See Ciwier, by Griffiths, i, 86. 
true when spoken of "the hemispheres 


More controvertible it seemeth in the brains of sparrows, 
whose cranies are rounder, and so of larger capacity ; and 
most of all in the heads of birds, upon the first formation in 
the egg, wherein the head c Q ems larger than all the body, 
and the very eyes almost as big as either. A sparrow in the 
total we found to weigh seven drachms and four and twenty 
grains, whereof the head a drachm, but the brain not fifteen 
grains, which answereth not fully the proportion of the brain 
of man ; and therefore it is to be taken of the whole head 
with the brains, when Scaliger * objected that the head of a 
man is the fifteenth part of his body, that of a sparrow scarce 
the fifth. 2 


That Pleurisies are only on the left side. 

That pleurisies are only on the left side, is a popular tenet 
not only absurd but dangerous : from the misapprehension 
hereof men omitting the opportunity of remedies, which other- 
wise they would not neglect. Chiefly occasioned by the ig- 
norance of anatomy, and the extent of the part affected, which 
in an exquisite pleurisy is determined to be the skin or mem- 
brane which investeth the ribs for so it is defined, inflam- 
matio membranes costas succingentis ; an inflammation, either 
simple, consisting only of an hot and sanguineous affluxion, 
or else denominable from other humours, according to the 
predominancy of melancholy, phlegm, or choler. The mem- 
brane thus inflamed, is properly called pleura, from whence 
the disease hath its name ; and this investeth not only one 
side, but over-spreadeth the cavity of the chest, and afford eth 
a common coat unto the parts contained therein. 

Now therefore the pleura being common unto both sides, 
it is not reasonable to confine the inflammation unto one, nor 
strictly to determine it is always in the side ; but sometimes 

* Histor. Animal, lib. i. 
, s More controvertible, Sfc.~\ This paragraph first added in 2nd edition. 


before and behind, that is, inclining to the spine or breast 
bone, for thither this coat extendeth, and therefore with 
equal propriety we may affirm that ulcers of the lungs, or 
apostems of the brain, do happen only in the left side, or that 
ruptures are confinable unto one side ; whereas the perito- 
naeum or rim of the belly may be broke, or its perforations 
relaxed in either. 


Of the Ring-finger. 

An opinion there is, which magnifies the fourth finger of the 
left hand ; presuming therein a cordial relation, that a par- 
ticular vessel, nerve, vein, or artery, is conferred thereto 
from the heart, and therefore that especially hath the honour 
to bear our rings. Which was not only the Christian practice 
in nuptial contracts, but observed by heathens, as Alexander 
ab Alexandro, Gellius, Macrobius andPierius have delivered, 
as Levinus Lemnius hath confirmed, who affirms this peculiar 
vessel to be an artery, and not a nerve, as antiquity hath con- 
ceived it ; adding moreover that rings hereon peculiarly affect 
the heart; that in lipothymies or swoonings he used the 
frication of this finger with saffron and gold ; that the ancient 
physicians mixed up their medicines herewith ; that this is 
seldom or last of all affected with the gout, and when that 
becometh nodous, men continue not long after. Notwith- 
standing all which, we remain unsatisfied, nor can we think 
the reasons alleged sufficiently establish the preeminency 
of this finger. 

For first, concerning the practice of antiquity, the custom 
was not general to wear their rings either on this hand or 
finger ; for it is said, and that emphatically in Jeremiah, si 
fuerit Jeconias filius Joachim regis Judce annulus in manu 
dextra mea, inde evettam earn : " though Coniah the son of 
Joachim king of Judah, were the signet on my right hand, 
yet would I pluck thee thence." So is it observed by Pliny, 



that in the portraits of their gods, the rings were worn on the 
finger next the thumb ; 3 that the Romans wore them also upon 
their little finger, as Nero is described in Petronius : some 
wore them on the middle finger, as the ancient Gauls and 
Britons ; and some upon the forefinger, as is deducible from 
Julius Pollux, who names that ring, corianos. 

Again, that the practice of the ancients had any such 
respect of cordiality or reference unto the heart, will much 
be doubted, if we consider their rings were made of iron ; 4 
such was that of Prometheus, who is conceived the first that 
brought them in use. So, as Pliny affirmeth, for many years 
the senators of Rome did not wear any rings of gold, 5 but 
the slaves wore generally iron rings until their manumission 
or preferment to some dignity. That the Lacedemonians 
continued their iron rings unto his days, Pliny also delivereth, 

3 finger next the thumb ;] Rings were 
formerly worn upon the thumb; as ap- 
pears from the portraits of some of our 
English monarchs. Nieuhoff mentions 
that the old viceroy of Canton wore an 
ivory ring on his thumb, "as an emblem 
signifying the undaunted courage of the 
Tartar people." — Embassy to China, 
p. 45. 

4 will much be doubted, SfC.~] Yet 
Pliny says, etiam nunc sponsce annulus 

ferreus mittitur, isque sine gemma. — Nat. 
Hist. 1. xxxiii, cap. 1. 

At Silchester, in Hampshire, fthe Vin- 
donum of the Romans,) was found an 
iron ring, with a singular shaped key 
attached to it ; — now in the possession 
of Mrs. Keep, at the farm-house, where 
I saw it, June 26, 1811.— Jeff. 

5 the senators, <^c.] Juvenal, com- 
paring the extravagance of his own 
times with those of the old Romans, has 
annulus in digilo non ferreus. — Sat. xi, 
129. — Kennet observes that the Roman 
knights were allowed a gold ring, and a 
horse at the public charge, hence eques 
auratus. Roman Antiquities. Tacitus 
says, Be Mor. German, s. 31. — Fortis- 
simus quisque (Cattorum) ferreum insu- 
per annulum (ignominiosum id genti) 
velut vinculum gestat, donee se caede 
hostis absolvet." Among the Eastern 
nations also was the ring worn as a 
badge of slavery — See Lowth, note on 
Isa. xlix, 23.— Jeff. 

We may add that rings, were frequent- 

ly used by medical practitioners, as 
charms and talismans, against all sorts 
of calamities inflicted by all kinds of 
beings : — Hippocrates and Galen both 
enjoin on physicians the use of rings. 
See a curious paper on this subject in the 
Archceologice, vol. xxi, p. 119. 

Patriotism has, in our own days, in- 
duced the exchange of gold for iron 
rings. The women of Prussia, in 1813, 
offered up their wedding-rings upon the 
altars of their country, and the govern- 
ment, in exchange, distributed iron rings 
with this inscription, " I exchange gold 
for iron." 

Rings however have not only been 
deemed badges of slavery, but very an- 
ciently and far more generally they 
denoted authority and government. Pha- 
raoh in committing that of Egypt to 
Joseph gave him his ring — so Ahasuerus 
to Mordecai. With great probability 
has it been conjectured, that, in con- 
formity with the Scriptural examples of 
this ancient usage, the Christian church 
afterwards adopted the ring in marriage, 
as a symbol of the authority which the 
husband gave the wife .over his house- 
hold, and over the " worldly goods " 
with which he endowed her ; accom- 
panying it, in many of the early Catho- 
lic rituals, with the betrothing or earnest 
penny, which was deposited either in 
the bride's right hand, or in a purse 
brought by her for the purpose. 


and surely they used few of gold ; for beside that Lycurgus 
prohibited that metal, we read in Athenasus, that, having a 
desire to gild the face of Apollo, they enquired of the oracle 
where they might purchase so much gold ; and were directed 
unto Croesus King of Lydia. 

Moreover, whether the ancients had any such intention, 
the grounds which they conceived in vein, nerve or artery, 
are not to be justified, nor will inspection confirm a peculiar 
vessel in this finger. For as anatomy informeth, the basilica 
vein dividing into two branches below the cubit, the outward 
sendeth two surcles unto the thumb, two unto the fore-finger, 
and one unto the middle finger in the inward side ; the other 
branch of the basilica sendeth one surcle unto the outside of 
the middle finger, two unto the ring, and as many unto the 
little fingers ; so that they all proceed from the basilica, and 
are in equal numbers derived unto every one. In the same 
manner are the branches of the axillary artery distributed 
into the hand ; for below the cubit it divideth into two parts, 
the one running along the radius, and, passing by the wrist 
or pulse, is at the fingers subdivided into three branches; 
whereof the first conveyeth two surcles unto the thumb, the 
second as many to the forefinger, and the third one unto the 
middle finger, and the other or lower division of the artery 
descendeth by the ulna, and furnisheth the other fingers ; 
that is the middle with one surcle, and the ring and little 
fingers with two. As for the nerves, they are disposed much 
after the same manner, and have their original from the brain, 
and not the heart, as many of the ancients conceived, 6 which 
is so far from affording nerves unto other parts, that it 
receiveth very few itself from the sixth conjugation, or pair 
of nerves in the brain. 

Lastly, these propagations being communicated unto both 
hands, we have no greater reason to wear our rings on the 
left, than on the right ; nor are there cordial considerations 
in the one, more than the other. And therefore when Fores- 
tus for the stanching of blood makes use of medical appli- 

es many of the ancients conceived ,•] ed to agree. — Sec Arcana Microcosmi, 
With whom Ross, as usual, is dispos- p. 35. 


cations unto the fourth finger, he confines not that practice 
unto the left, but varieth the side according to the nostril 
bleeding. So in fevers, where the heart primarily sufTereth, 
we apply medicines unto the wrists of either arms ; so we 
touch the pulse of both, and judge of the affections of the 
heart by the one as well as the other. And although in dis- 
positions of liver or spleen, considerations are made in 
phlebotomy respectively to their situation; yet when the 
heart is affected, men have thought it as effectual to bleed 
on the right as the left ; and although also it may be thought 
a nearer respect is to be had of the left, because the great 
artery proceeds from the left ventricle* and so is nearer that 
arm, it admits not that consideration. For under the chan- 
nel-bones the artery divideth into two great branches, from 
which trunk or point of division, the distance unto either 
hand is equal, and the consideration also answerable. 

All which with many respective niceties, in order unto 
parts, sides, and veins, are now become of less consideration, 
by the new and noble doctrine of the circulation of the 
blood. 7 

And therefore Macrobius, discussing the point, hath al- 
leged another reason ; affirming that the gestation of rings 
upon this hand and finger, might rather be used for their 
conveniency and preservation, than any cordial relation. For 
at first (saith he) it was both free and usual to wear rings on 
either hand ; but after that luxury increased, when precious 
gems and rich insculptures were added, the custom of wearing 
them on the right hand was translated unto the left ; for, that 
hand being less employed, thereby they were best preserved. 
And for the same reason, they placed them on this finger : 
for the thumb was too active a finger, and is commonly em- 
ployed with either of the rest ; the index or forefinger was 
too naked whereto to commit their precosities, and hath 
the tuition of the thumb scarce unto the second joint : the 
middle and little finger they rejected as extremes, and too big 
or too little for their rings, and of all choose out the fourth, 
as being least used of any, as being guarded on either side, 

7 All which, #c] First added in Cth edition, 


and having in most this peculiar condition, that it cannot be 
extended alone and by itself, but will be accompanied by 
some finger on either side. 8 And to this opinion assenteth 
Alexander ab Alexandro, annulum nuptialem prior cetas in 
sinistra ferebat, crediderim nt attereretur. 

Now that which begat or promoted the common opinion, 
was the common conceit that the heart was seated on the left 
side ; but how far this is verified, we have before declared. 
The Egyptian practice hath much advanced the same, who 
unto this finger derived a nerve from the heart ; and there- 
fore the priest anointed the same with precious oils before the 
altar. But how weak anatomists they were, which were so 
good embalmers, we have already shewed. And though this 
reason took most place, yet had they another which more 
commended that practice : and that was the number whereof 
this finger was an hieroglyphick. For by holding down the 
fourth finger of the left hand, while the rest were extended, 
they signified the perfect and magnified number of six. For 
as Pierius hath graphically declared, antiquity expressed 
numbers by the fingers of either hand : on the left they ac- 
counted their digits and articulate numbers unto an hundred ; 
on the right hand hundreds and thousands ; the depressing 
this finger, which in the left hand implied but six, in the 
right indigitated six hundred. In this way of numeration, 
may we construe that of Juvenal concerning Nestor. 

Qui per tot ssecula mortem 

Distulit, atque suos jam dextra computat annos. 

And however it were intended, in this sense it will be very 
elegant what is delivered of wisdom, Prov. iii. " Length of 
days in her right hand, and in her left hand riches and 

As for the observation of Lemnius, an eminent physician, 
concerning the gout, however it happened in his country, we 
may observe it otherwise in ours ; that is, chiragrical persons 
do suffer in this finger as well as in the rest, and sometimes 
first of all, and sometimes no where else. And for the mix- 

S and having, ffc.~] This is not true. The annularis is the only finger in the 
— Wr. human hand, not possessed of the power 

But indeed, Mr. Dean, it is true, of separate movement. 


ing up medicines herewith, it is rather an argument of opinion 
than any considerable effect ; and we as highly conceive of 
the practice in diapalma ,• that is, in the making of that plas- 
ter to stir it with the stick of a palm. 


Of the Right and Left Hand. 

It is also suspicious, and not with that certainty to be receiv- 
ed, what is generally believed concerning the right and left 
hand ; that men naturally make use of the right, 9 and that 
the use of the other is a digression or aberration from that 
way which nature generally intendeth. We do not deny 
that almost all nations have used this hand, and ascribed a 
preeminence thereto : hereof a remarkable passage there is 
in Genesis : " And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his 
right hand towards Israel's left hand, and Manasses in his 
left hand towards Israel's right hand. And Israel stretched 
out his right hand and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was 
the younger, and his left hand upon Manasses' head, guiding 
his hand wittingly, for Manasses was the first-born. And 
when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the 
head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he held up his 
father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manas- 
ses' head ; and Joseph said, not so my father, for this is the 
first-born: put thy right hand upon his head." The like 
appeareth from the ordinance of Moses in the consecration 
of their priests ; " Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of 
his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, 
and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the 
thumb of the right hand, and upon the great toe of the right 
foot, and sprinkle the blood on the altar round about." That 

9 men naturally, 8fc.~\ Cann this be doe they not the more confirme itt? 
denyed ? or yf there be some exceptions, Omnis exceptio stabilit regulam in non 
i. e. aberrations from the general! rule, exceptis, is an axieme invincible. — Wr. 


the Persians were wont herewith to plight their faith, is tes- 
tified by Diodorus ; that the Greeks and Romans made use 
hereof, beside the testimony of divers authors, is evident 
from their custom of discumbency at their meals, which was 
upon their left side, for so their right was free, and ready for 
all service. As also from the conjunction of the right hands 
and not the left, observable in the Roman medals of concord. 
Nor was this only in use with divers nations of men, but was 
the custom of whole nations of women ; as is deducible from 
the Amazons in the amputation of their right breast, whereby 
they had the freer use of their bow. All which do seem to 
declare a natural preferment a of the one unto motion before 
the other ; wherein notwithstanding, in submission to future 
information, we are unsatisfied unto great dubitation. 

For first, if there were a determinate prepotency in the 
right, and such as ariseth from a constant root in nature, we 
might expect the same in other animals, whose parts are also 
differenced by dextrality : wherein notwithstanding we can- 
not discover a distinct and complying account ; for we find 
not that horses, bulls, or mules, are generally stronger on this 
side. As for animals whose fore-legs more sensibly supply 
the use of arms, they hold, if not an equality in both, a pre- 
valency ofttimes in the other, as squirrels, apes, and monkeys ; 
the same is also discernable in parrots, who feed themselves 
more commonly by the left leg ; and men observe that the 
eye of a tumbler is biggest, not constantly in one, but in the 
bearing side. 

There is also in men a natural prepotency in the right, we 
cannot with constancy affirm, 2 if we make observation in 
children ; who, permitted the freedom of both, do ofttimes 
confine unto the left, 3 and are not without great difficulty 

1 natural preferment .] Ed. 1646 has sent, experience, and reason, unite in 
" naturall preheminency and preferment." ascribing superior dignity, agility, and 
— On which Dean Wren says, "Grant- strength, to the right side; "because," 
ing this natural preeminencye, confirmed (says he,) "on the right side is the 
by Scripture soe evidentlye, all the rest liver, the cistern of blood," &c. &c." — 
is but velitation : for that which God and Arcana, p. 153. 

nature call right, must in reason bee soe 3 do ofttimes, eye] This vitiosity pro- 

cald ; and whatsoever varys from thence ceeds from the maner of gestation : ser- 

is an aberration from them bothe. vants and nurses usually carry them on 

2 That there is, ^-c] Alex. Ross as- their left arme, soe that the child cannot 
serts roundly, that Scripture, general con- use its right, and being accustomed to 


restrained from it. And therefore this prevalency is either 
uncertainly placed in the laterality, or custom determines its 
indifferency. Which is the resolution of Aristotle, in that 
problem which enquires why the right side, being better than 
the left, is equal in the senses ; because, saith he, the right 
and left do differ by use and custom, which have no place in 
the senses. For right and left, as parts inservient unto the 
motive faculty, are differenced by degrees from use and 
assuefaction, according whereto the one grows stronger and 
ofttimes bigger than the other. But in the senses it is other- 
wise ; for they acquire not their perfection by use or custom, 
but at the first we equally hear, and see with one eye, as well 
as with another. And therefore, were this indifferency per- 
mitted, or did not constitution, but nature, determine dex- 
trality, there would be many more Scevolas than are de- 
livered in story ; nor needed we to draw examples of the 
left from the sons of the right hand, as we read of seven 
thousand in the army of the Benjamites.* True it is, that 
although there be an indifferency in either, or a prevalency 
indifferent in one, yet is it most reasonable for uniformity 
and sundry respective uses, that men should apply themselves 
to the constant use of one ; 4 for there will otherwise arise 
anomalous disturbances in manual actions, not only in civil 
and artificial, but also in military affairs, and the several 
actions of war. 

Secondly, the grounds and reason alleged for the right are 
not satisfactory, and afford no rest in their decision. Scali- 
ger, finding a defect in the reason of Aristotle, introduceth 
one of no less deficiency himself; ratio materialis, (saith he) 
sanguinis crassitudo simul et multitudo, that is, the reason of 
the vigour of this side is the crassitude and plenty of blood ; 

* Benjamin Filius Dextrce. 

the left, becomes left-handed. But among the heathen drew a superstitious conceyte 
the Irishe, who cary their children astride from don* first on the left side rather then 
rlieir neckes, you shall rarely see one the right, yet that sprang from an ap- 
left-handed of either sex. — Wr. prehension of disorder in soe doing, and 
4 the constant, 8fC.~\ Wise men count consequentlye (as they thought) unlucky, 
them unlucky that use the left hand, as as in that of Augustus, Lcevum sibi pro- 
going contrary to the generall course of didit cultrum prcBpostere indutum quo 
nature in all places of the world and all die militari tumultu afflictus. — Wr. 
times since the creation. And although * Some omission or error here. 


but this is not sufficient ; for the crassitude or thickness of 
blood affordeth no reason why one arm should be enabled 
before the other, and the plenty thereof, why both not en- 
abled equally. Fallopius is of another conceit, deducing the 
reason from the azygos, or vena sine pari, a large and con- 
siderable vein arising out of the cava or hollow vein, before 
it enters the right ventricle of the heart, and placed only in 
the right side. But neither is this persuasory ; for the azy- 
gos communicates no branches unto the arms or legs on 
either side, but disperseth into the ribs on both, and in its 
descent doth furnish the left emulgent with one vein, and the 
first vein of the loins on the right side with another ; which 
manner of derivation doth not confer a peculiar addition unto 
either. Caelius Rhodiginus, undertaking to give a reason of 
ambidexters and left-handed men, delivereth a third opinion : 
men, saith he, are ambidexters, and use both hands alike, 
when the heat of the heart doth plentifully disperse into the 
left side, and that of the liver into the right, and the spleen 
be also much dilated ; but men are left-handed whenever it 
happeneth that the heart and liver are seated on the left side, 
or when the liver is on the right side, yet so obducted and 
covered with thick skins that it cannot diffuse its virtue into 
the right. Which reasons are no way satisfactory, for herein 
the spleen is unjustly introduced to invigorate the sinister 
side, which being dilated it would rather infirm and debili- 
tate. As for any tunicles or skins which should hinder the 
liver from enabling the dextral parts, we must not conceive it 
diffuseth its virtue by mere irradiation, but by its veins and 
proper vessels, which common skins and teguments cannot 
impede. And for the seat of the heart and liver in one side, 
whereby men become left-handed, it happeneth too rarely to 
countenance an effect so common ; for the seat of the liver 
on the left side is monstrous, and rarely to be met with in the 
observations of physicians. Others, not considering ambi- 
dexters and left-handed men, do totally submit unto the effi- 
cacy of the liver; which, though seated on the right side, 
yet by the subclavian division doth equidistantly communicate 
its activity unto either arm ; nor will it salve the doubts of 
observation ; for many are right-handed whose livers are 


weakly constituted, and many use the left in whom that part 
is strongest ; and we observe in apes and other animals, whose 
liver is in the right, no regular prevalence therein. 

And therefore the brain, especially the spinal marrow, 
which is but the brain prolonged, hath a fairer plea hereto ; 
for these are the principles of motion, wherein dextrality 
consists, and are divided within and without the crany. By 
which division transmitting nerves respectively unto either 
side, according to the indifrerency or original and native pre- 
potency, there arise th an equality in both, or prevalency in 
either side. And so may it be made out, what many may 
wonder at, why some most actively use the contrary arm and 
leg ; for the vigour of the one dependeth upon the upper 
part of the spine, but the other upon the lower. 

And therefore many things are philosophically delivered 
concerning right and left, which admit of some suspension. 
That a woman upon a masculine conception advanceth her 
right leg, 5 will not be found to answer strict observation. 
That males are conceived in the right side of the womb, fe- 
males in the left, though generally delivered, and supported 
by ancient testimony, will make no infallible account ; it hap- 
pening ofttimes that males and females do lie upon both sides, 
and hermaphrodites, for aught we know, on either. It is 
also suspicious what is delivered concerning the right and 
left testicle, that males are begotten from the one, and females 
from the other. 6 For though the jeft seminal vein proceed- 
eth from the emulgent, and is therefore conceived to carry 
down a serous and feminine matter ; yet the seminal arteries 
which send forth the active materials, are both derived from 
the great artery. Beside, this original of the left vein was 
thus contrived to avoid the pulsation of the great artery, 
over which it must have passed to attain unto the testicle. 
Nor can we easily infer such different effects from the diverse 
situation of parts which have one end and office ; for in the 
kidneys, which have one office, the right is seated lower than 

5 That a woman, SfC.~\ This instance 6 That males, Sec.'] All this while hee 

is most true, as I have often tryed upon does not disprove this : and the reason, 

wager, whereas they sodenlye rise from is as good as 'tis, manifest. — Wr. 
their seate, yf both feete be freee. — Wr. 



the left, whereby it lieth free, and giveth way unto the liver. 
And therefore also that way which is delivered for masculine 
generation, to make a strait ligature about the left testicle, 
thereby to intercept the evacuation of that part, deserveth 
consideration. For one sufficeth unto generation, as hath 
been observed in semicastration, and ofttimes in carnous rup- 
tures. Beside, the seminal ejaculation proceeds not immedi- 
ately from the testicle, but from the spermatick glandules ; 
and therefore Aristotle affirms (and reason cannot deny) that 
although there be nothing diffused from the testicles, an 
horse or bull may generate after castration ; that is, from the 
stock and remainder of seminal matter, already prepared and 
stored up in the prostates or glandules of generation. 

Thirdly, although we should concede a right and left in 
nature, yet in this common and received account we may 
err from the proper acception : mistaking one side for ano- 
ther; 7 calling that in man and other animals the right which 
is the left, and that the left which is the right, and that in 
some things right and left, which is not properly either. 

For first, the right and left are not defined by philosophers 
according to common acception, that is, respectively from one 
man unto another, or any constant site in each : as though 
that should be the right in one, which upon confront or fac- 
ing, stands athwart or diagonally unto the other, but were 
distinguished according to the activity and predominant loco- 
motion upon either side. Thus Aristotle, in his excellent 
tract, De Incessu Animalium, ascribeth six positions unto 
animals, answering the three dimensions, which he determin- 
eth not by site or position unto the heavens, but by the 
faculties and functions; and these are imam summum, ante 
retro, dextra et sinistra ; that is the superior part, where the 
aliment is received, that the lower extreme, where it is last 
expelled ; so he termeth a man a plant inverted ; for he sup- 
poseth the root of a tree the head or upper part thereof, 

7 mistaking one side, Sfc] Wee take place, the name of d's^ia ut Ps. xc, v, 7, 

that to be right and lefte which God and \ % ro jJ -/Xirovg Sou %/X/a£, %ai fivgiug 

nature call soe : and all other reasons » «„£.;» „,., „■*'_ vl . „ „. „„,,.„, 

are frivolous.; Gal. ^ ^" ^u. zX/rog autem ut no.unt 

ii, 9. Let itt be noted that God cals the erudltI ' P ro P ne significat declinationem 

left hand the side hand, i. e. beside the a rect0 ' et lllc ' a recta --" r - 
right hand, to which he gives in that very 



whereby it receiveth its aliment, although therewith it re- 
spects the centre of the earth, but with the other the zenith ; 
and this position is answerable unto longitude. Those parts 
are anterior and measure profundity, where the senses, espe- 
cially the eyes, are placed, and those posterior which are 
opposite hereunto. The dextrous and sinistrous parts of the 
body make up the latitude, and are not certain and inalterable 
like the other; for that saith he, is the right side, from 
whence the motion of the body beginneth, that is, the active 
or moving side ; but that the sinister which is the weaker or 
more quiescent part. Of the same determination were the 
Platonicks and Pythagoreans before him; who, conceiving 
the heavens an animated body, named the east the right or 
dextrous part, from whence began their motion; and thus 
the Greeks, from whence the Latins have borrowed their 
appellations, have named this hand ti'sfyct, denominating it not 
from the site, but office, from d's^owai, capio, that is, the hand 
^hich receiveth, or is usually employed in that action. 

Now upon these grounds we are most commonly mistaken, 
defining that by situation which they determined by motion ; 
and giving the term of right hand to that which doth not 
properly admit it. For first, many in their infancy are sinis- 
trously disposed, and divers continue all their life 'Ag/tfrsgo/, that 
is, left-handed, and have but weak and imperfect use of the 
right ; now unto these, that hand is properly the right, and 
not the other esteemed so by situation. 8 Thus may Aristotle 
be made out, when he affirmeth the right claw of crabs and 
lobsters is biggest, if we take the right for the most vigor- 
ous side, and not regard the relative situation : for the one is 
generally bigger than the other, yet not always upon the same 
side. So may it be verified, what is delivered by Scaliger in his 
Comment, that palsies do oftenest happen upon the left side, 
if understood in this sense ; the most vigorous part protect- 

S that hand is properly, 8fC.'\ This should hee else bee distinguished from 

exception is soe far from destroying the all men that are right-handed. And 

generall rule, that itt rather confirms itt. thoughe the left hand bee as useful to 

For the most parte of all men in all na- some as the right to all others, yet itt is 

tions of the world are right-handed, and still their left hand ; and by that name 

in those that use the lefte hand, the they are distinguisht, and cald lefi-hand- 

righte hand keepes the name ; how ed men. — Wr. 

C 2 


ing itself, and protruding the matter upon the weaker and 
less resistive side. And thus the law of commonwealths, that 
cut off the right hand of malefactors, if philosophically exe- 
cuted, is impartial; otherwise the amputation not equally 
punisheth all. 

Some are 'A/xp/cSlg/o/, that is, ambidextrous or right-handed 
on both sides ; which happeneth only unto strong and ath- 
letical bodies, whose heat and spirits are able to afford an 
ability unto both. And therefore Hippocrates saith, that 
women are not ambidextrous, that is, not so often as men ; 
for some are found which indifferently make use of both. 
And so may Aristotle say, that only men are ambidextrous ; 
of this constitution was Asteropaeus in Homer, and Parthe- 
nopeus, the Theban captain, in Statius : and of the same do 
some conceive our father Adam to have been, as being per- 
fectly framed, and in a constitution admitting least defect. 
Now in these men the right hand is on both sides, and that 
is not the left which is opposite unto the right, according to 
common acception. 

Again, 9 some are 'Aficpugigrigol, as Galen hath expressed it; 
that is, ambilevous or left-handed on both sides ; such, as 
with agility and vigour have not the use of either; who are 
not gymnastically composed, nor actively use those parts. 
Now in these there is no right hand : of this constitution are 
many women, and some men, who, though they accustom 
themselves unto either hand, do dextrously make use of 
neither. And therefore, although the political advice of Aris- 
totle be very good, that men should accustom themselves to 
the command of either hand ; yet cannot the execution or 
performance thereof be general : for though there be many 
found that can use both, yet will there divers remain that can 
strenuously make use of neither. 

Lastly, these lateralities in man are not only fallible, if 

9 Again, fyc.~\ In the use of string harpsicords, organs, which have all their 

instruments both hands are dextrously ground from the harpe, layd along as it 

used, yet the easiest and slowest parte is were in those instruments and supplied 

alwayes put on the lefteside; bycause with keys (as that by the ringers) by 

all men use it soe : and excepting the which they are mediately made to speake 

harpe, there is scarce any string instru- as the harpe by the fingers immediately, 

ment to fit both hands, or the virginals, — Wr. 


relatively determined unto each other, but made in reference 
unto the heavens and quarters of the globe : for those parts 
are not capable of these conditions in themselves, nor with 
any certainty respectively derived from us, nor from them to 
us again. And first, in regard of their proper nature, the 
heavens admit not these sinister and dexter respects, there 
being in them no diversity or difference, but a simplicity of 
parts and equiformity in motion continually succeeding each 
other ; so that from what point soever we compute, the ac- 
count will be common unto the whole circularity. And there- 
fore though it be plausible, it is not of consequence hereto 
what is delivered by Solinus ; that man was therefore a micro- 
cosm or little world, because the dimensions of his positions 
were answerable unto the greater. For as in the heavens 
the distance of the north and southern pole, which are es- 
teemed the superior and inferior points, is equal unto the 
space between the east and west, accounted the dextrous 
and sinistrous parts thereof, so is it also in man ; for the 
extent of his fathom or distance betwixt the extremity of the 
fingers of either hand upon expansion, is equal unto the space 
between the sole of the foot and the crown. But this doth 
but petitionarily infer a dextrality in the heavens, and we 
may as reasonably conclude a right and left laterality in the 
ark or naval edifice of Noah. For the length thereof was 
thirty cubits, the breadth fifty, and the height or profundity 
thirty : which well agreeth unto the proportion of man ; 
whose length, that is, a perpendicular from the vertex unto 
the sole of the foot, is sextuple unto his breadth, or a right 
line drawn from the ribs of one side to another, and decuple 
unto his profundity, that is, a direct line between the breast- 
bone and the spine. 

Again, they receive not these conditions with any assurance 
or stability from ourselves. For the relative foundations, and 
points of denomination, are not fixed and certain, but vari- 
- ously designed according to imagination. The philosopher 
accounts that east from whence the heavens begin their mo- 
tion. The astronomer, regarding the south and meridian sun, 
calls that the dextrous part of heaven which respecteth his 
right hand ; and that is the west. Poets, respecting the 


west, assign the name of right unto the north which regard- 
eth their right hand ; and so must that of Ovid be explained, 
utque, dues dextra zonae, totidtmque, sinistra. But augurs, or 
soothsayers, turning their face to the east, did make the right 
in the south ; x which was also observed by the Hebrews and 
Chaldeans.* Now if we name the quarters of heaven re- 
spectively unto our sides, it will be no certain or invariable 
denomination. For, if we call that the right side of heaven 
which is seated easterly unto us when we regard the me- 
ridian sun, the inhabitants beyond the equator and southern 
tropick, when they face us, regarding the meridian, will con- 
trarily define it ; for unto them, the opposite part of heaven 
will respect the left, and the sun arise to their right. 

And thus have we at large declared, that although the 
right be most commonly used, yet hath it no regular or 
certain root in nature. Since it is not confirmable from 
other animals : since in children it seems either indifferent or 
more favourable in the other ; but more reasonable for uni- 
formity in action, that men accustom unto one : since the 
grounds and reasons urged for it do not sufficiently support 
it : since, if there be a right and stronger side in nature, yet 
may we mistake in its denomination ; calling that the right 
which is the left, and the left which is the right. Since some 
have one right, some both, some neither. And lastly, since 
these affections in man are not only fallible in relation unto 
one another, but made also in reference unto the heavens, 
they being not capable of these conditions in themselves, nor 
with any certainty from us, nor we from them again. 

* Psalm lxxxix, 13. 

1 But augurs, 8fc.~\ But Pomponius astronomers, or poets which respect their 

Lsetus (in De Auguribus) sayes, if the owne artes more then the nobler scite of 

augur versus orientem sedebat, tenens the world. Whose longitude, that is the 

dextra lituum, i. e. curvum baculum, quo greatest distance, is accounted from east 

in coelo regiones dividit et quce auguria to west, which are every where round 

conveniunt prcedicit : si lcevafuerint,fa- the world. But the latitude, which is 

licia pronunciat : not bycause what comes the least distance, is counted from the 

to our left hand comes from the right sequator to each pole. And bycause the 

hand of the gods, as some would say, but, northerne in all respects of habitation, 

sayes he, quia a lava parte septcntrio est ; religion, learning, artes, government, 

pars n. ilia orbis, quia allior est prospera wealth, honor, and all relations to hea- 

putatur ; et a dextrti parte meridies, ven is infinitely more noble, and withall 

quia depressior ivfelix. And this reason the higher parte of the world : therefore 

is not particular, but generall, and such 't is justly cald the right side of the 

as prevailes all the other of philosophers, world, — Wr. 

CHAP. V.] 



And therefore what admission we owe unto many concep- 
tions concerning right and left, requireth circumspection. 
That is, how far we ought to rely upon the remedy in Kiran- 
ides, that is, the left eye of an hedgehog fried in oil to pro- 
cure sleep, and the right foot of a frog in a deer's skin for 
the gout ; or, that to dream of the loss of right or left tooth 
presageth the death of male or female kindred, according to 
the doctrine of Artemidorus. What verity there is in that 
numeral conceit in the lateral division of man by even and 
odd, ascribing the odd unto the right side, and even unto the 
left ; and so, by parity or imparity of letters in men's names 
to determine misfortunes on either side of their bodies ; by 
which account in Greek numeration, Hephaestus or Vulcan 
was lame in the right foot, and Annibal lost his right eye. 
And lastly, what substance there is in that auspicial princi- 
ple, and fundamental doctrine of ariolation, that the left hand 
is ominous, and that good things do pass sinistrously upon 
us, because the left hand of man respected the right hand of 
the gods, which handed their favours unto us. 2 

2 unto us.~\ This chapter is very cha- 
racteristic of our author. It displays 
remarkably the great pains he frequently 
bestows on the elucidation of lesser points, 
and the quaint and varied illustration 
which his extensive and curious reading 
enabled him to supply. The closing 
paragraph may serve to exemplify this 
latter remark ; while the former is justi- 
fied, not only by individual passages in 
the chapter, but by its great length, and 
by the care and argumentative precision 
with which he successively examines the 
various opinions, more or less absurd, 
which have been expressed on this most 
momentous topic, — summing up at the 
close, by a detail of the several reasons 
for his conclusion thereon. 

Brande's Journal notices, (vol. ii, page 
423,) a discourse by Signor Zecchinelli, 
on the reason of the prevalent custom of 
using the right in preference to the left 
hand. His theory is, first, that it was 
obviously necessary, — in order to avoid 
(what our author more felicitously terms) 
" anomalous discordances in manual ac- 
tions," — that one hand should obtain a 
general preference to the other. The 
next question was, — which to prefer ? 

The Signor decides that mankind must 
have discovered that the left hand, 
from its anatomical connection with the 
most vital and important parts of the 
animal economy, could not be the one 
preferred. "For it must have been ob- 
served, that when the left arm is long 
used, or violently exercised, the left side 
also of the chest is put more or less in 
motion, and a consequent and corres- 
ponding obstacle produced not only to 
the free emission of the blood from the 
heart, but also to its progress through 
the aorta and its ramifications." The 
editor goes on to observe, that the preva- 
lence of the arterial system in the left 
side of the body renders this opinion 
quite plausible : and the painful sensa- 
tions we experience, when we agitate 
greatly the left arm, or attempt to run 
while carrying a weight in the left hand, 
proves in a certain manner the truth of 
Signor Z's. assertion. 

Dr. A. Clarke, on Gen. xlviii, 18, re- 
marks, that " the right hand of God," in 
the heavens, expresses the place of the 
most exalted dignity. But among the 
Turks, and in the north of China, the 
left hand is most honourable. 



On Swimming and Floating. 

That men swim naturally, if not disturbed by fear ; that men 
being drowned and sunk do float the ninth day, when their 
gall breaketh ; that women drowned swim prone, but men 
supine, or upon their backs, are popular affirmations whereto 
we cannot assent. And. first that man should swim naturally, 
because we observe it is no lesson unto other animals, we 
are not forward to conclude ; for other animals swim in the 
same manner as they go, and need no other way of motion 
for natation in the water, than for progression upon the land. 
And this is true, whether they move per latera, that is, two 
legs of one side together, which is tolutation or ambling, or 
per diametrum, lifting one foot before, and the cross foot be- 
hind, which is succussation or trotting ; or whether per fron- 
tem, or quadratum, as Scaliger terms it, upon a square base, 
the legs of both sides moving together, as frogs and salient 
animals, which is properly called leaping. For by these mo- 
tions they are able to support and impel themselves in the 
water, without alteration in the stroke of their legs, or posi- 
tion of their bodies. 

But with man it is performed otherwise : for in regard of 
site he alters his natural posture and swimmeth prone, where- 
as he walketh erect. 3 Again, in progression, the arms move 
parallel to the legs, and the arms and legs unto each other ; 
but in natation they intersect and make all sorts of angles. 
And lastly, in progressive motion, the arms and legs do move 
successively, but in natation both together ; all which aptly 
to perform, and so as to support and advance the body, is a 
point of art, and such as some in their young and docile years 

3 he alters, tfc] " This is no reason," therefore, that this motion is not natural 
says Ross; "for man alters his natural to man?" — See Arcana, p. J 55. 
posture when he crawls ; will it follow, 


could never attain. But although swimming be acquired by 
art, yet is there somewhat more of nature in it than we ob- 
serve in other habits, nor will it strictly fall under that de- 
finition ; for once obtained, it is not to be removed ; nor is 
there any who from disuse did ever yet forget it. 

Secondly, that persons drowned arise and float the ninth 
day, when their gall breaketh, is a questionable determina- 
tion both in the time and cause. For the time of floating, it is 
uncertain, according to the time of putrefaction, which shall 
retard or accelerate according to the subject and season of 
the year ; for as we observed, cats and mice will arise un- 
equally, and at different times, though drowned at the same. 
Such as are fat do commonly float soonest, for their bodies 
soonest ferment, and that substance approacheth nearest unto 
air : and this is one of Aristotle's reasons why dead eels will 
not float, because saith he, they have but slender bellies and 
little fat. 

As for the cause, it is not so reasonably imputed unto the 
breaking of the gall as the putrefaction or corruptive fermen- 
tation of the body, whereby the unnatural heat prevailing, 
the putrefying parts do suffer a turgescence and inflation, 
and becoming aery and spumous affect to approach the air, 
and ascend unto the surface of the water ; and this is also 
evidenced in eggs, whereof the sound ones sink, and such as 
are addled swim, as do also those which are termed hypenemia 
or wind eggs, and this is also a way to separate seeds, whereof 
such as are corrupted and sterile swim, and this agreeth not 
only unto the seeds of plants locked up and capsulated in 
their husks, but also unto the sperm and seminal humour of 
man, for such a passage hath Aristotle upon the inquisition 
and test of its fertility. 

That the breaking of the gall is not the cause hereof, 
experience hath informed us. For opening the abdomen, 
and taking out the gall in cats and mice, they did notwith- 
standing arise. And because Ave had read in Rhodiginus of 
a tyrant, who to prevent the emergency of murdered bodies, 
did use to cut off their lungs, and found men's minds possessed 
with this reason, we committed some unto the water without 
lungs, which notwithstanding floated with the others ; and to 


complete the experiment, although we took out the guts and 
bladder, and also perforated the cranium, yet would they 
arise, though in a longer time. From these observations in 
other animals, it may not be unreasonable to conclude the 
same in man, who is too noble a subject on whom to make 
them expressly, and the casual opportunity too rare almost to 
make any. Now if any shall ground this effect from gall or 
choler, because it is the highest humour and will be above 
the rest, or being the fiery humour will readiest surmount 
the water, we must confess in the common putrescence it 
may promote elevation, which the breaking of the bladder of 
gall, so small a part in man, cannot considerably advantage. 

Lastly, that women drowned float prone, that is, with their 
bellies downward, but men supine or upward, is an assertion 
wherein the fa or point itself is dubious, and, were it true, 
the reason alleged for it is of no validity. The reason yet 
current was first expressed by Pliny, veluti pudori defuncto- 
rurn parcente tiatura, nature modestly ordaining this position 
to conceal the shame of the dead, which hath been taken up 
by Solinus, Rhodiginus, and many more. This indeed (as 
Scaliger termeth it) is ratio chilis non philosophica, strong 
enough for morality or rhetoricks, not for philosophy or 
physicks. For first, in nature the concealment of secret parts 
is the same in both sexes, and the shame of their reveal 
equal; so Adam upon the taste of the fruit was ashamed of 
his nakedness as well as Eve. And so likewise in America 
and countries unacquainted with habits, where modesty con- 
ceals these parts in one sex, it doth it also in the other, and 
therefore had this been the intention of nature, not only 
women but men also had swimmed downwards ; the posture 
in reason being common unto both, where the intent is also 

Again, while herein we commend the modesty, we condemn 
the wisdom of nature : for that prone position we make her 
contrive unto the women, were best agreeable unto the man, 
in whom the secret parts are very anterior and more dis- 
coverable in a supine and upward posture ; and therefore 
Scaliger declining this reason, hath recurred unto another 
from the difference of parts in both sexes ; Quod ventre vasto 


sunt mulieres plenoque intestinis, itaque minus impletur et 
subsidet, inanior maribus quibus nates preponderant ; if so, 
then men with great bellies will float downward, and only 
Callipygce, and woman largely composed behind, upward. 
But anatomists observe, that to make the larger cavity for 
the infant, the haunch-bones in women, and consequently the 
parts appendent are more protuberant than they are in men. 
They who ascribe the cause unto the breasts of women, take 
not away the doubt, for they resolve not why children float 
downward, who are included in that sex, though not in the 
reason alleged. But hereof we cease to discourse, lest we 
undertake to afford a reason of the golden tooth, *. that is, to 
invent or assign a cause, when we remain unsatisfied or un- 
assured of the effect. 

That a mare will sooner drown than a horse, though com- 
monly opinioned, is not I fear experienced ; nor is the same 
observed in the drowning of whelps and kitlings. But that a 
man cannot shut or open his eyes under water, easy experi- 
ment may convict. Whether cripples and mutilated persons, 
who have lost the greatest part of their thighs, will not sink 
but float, their lungs being abler to waft up their bodies, 
which are in others overpoised by the hinder legs ; we have not 
made experiment. Thus much we observe, that animals drown 
downwards, and the same is observable in frogs, when the 
hinder legs are cut off; but in the air most seem to perish 
headlong from high places: however Vulcan thrown from 
heaven be made to fall on his feet. 4 

* Of the cause whereof much dispute was made, and at last proved an imposture. 
* That a mare, fyc] This paragraph added in 2nd edition. 



That Men weigh heavier dead than alive, and before meat 
than after. 

That men weigh heavier dead than alive, if experiment hath 
not failed us, we cannot reasonably grant. 5 For though the 
trial hereof cannot so well be made on the body of man, nor 
will the difference be sensible in the debate of scruples or 
drachms, yet can we not confirm the same in lesser animals, 
from whence the inference is good, and the affirmative of 
Pliny saith, that it is true in all. For exactly weighing and 
strangling a chicken in the scales, upon an immediate pon- 
deration, we could discover no sensible difference in weight, 
but suffering it to lie eight or ten hours, until it grew per- 
fectly cold, it weighed most sensibly lighter; the like we 
attempted and verified in mice, and performed their trials in 
scales that would turn upon the eighth or tenth part of a 

Now whereas some allege that spirits are lighter sub- 
stances, and naturally ascending, do elevate and waft the 
body upward, whereof dead bodies being destitute contract 
a greater gravity; although we concede that spirits are light, 
comparatively unto the body, yet that they are absolutely so, 

5 That men weigh heavier, <$-c] What Atmospheric Pressure on the Animal 

shall be said of the man who can use Frame, published in the 10th vol. of the 

such an argument as the following : — Manchester Memoirs, thus sums up : 

"Why doth a man fall down in his " Upon the whole lam inclined to believe 

sleep, who stood upright when he was the true explanation of the difficulty will 

awake, if he be not heavier than he was?" be found in this, that the whole substance 

Ross Arcana, p. 100. Truly we may say, of the body is pervious to air, and that a 

"Every man is not a proper champion considerable portion of it constantly exists 

for truth, norfit to take up the gauntlet in the body during life subject to increase 

in the cause of verity !" — Rel. Med. p. 9. and diminution according to the pressure 

The result of modern investigation of the atmosphere, in the same manner 

seems to confirm the opinion so pre- as it exists in water, and further, that 

posterously advocated by Ross ; at least when life is extinct, this air in some 

it shews that the specific gravity of the degree escapes and renders the parts 

human body is in reality greater after specifically heavier than when the vital 

death than it was while living. Dal ton, functions were in a state of activity." 
in an interesting paper on the Effects of 


or have no weight at all, we cannot readily allow. For since 
philosophy affirmeth that spirits are middle substances be- 
tween the soul and body, they must admit of some corporeity, 
which supposeth weight or gravity. Beside in carcasses 
warm, and bodies newly disanimated, while transpiration 
remaineth, there do exhale and breathe out vaporous and 
fluid parts, which carry away some power of gravitation. 
Which though we allow we do not make answerable unto 
living expiration, and therefore the chicken or mice were not 
so light being dead, as they would have been after ten hours 
kept alive, for in that space a man abateth many ounces: 
nor if it had slept, for in that space of sleep, a man will 
sometimes abate forty ounces : nor if it had been in the 
middle of summer, for then a man weigheth some pounds 
less than in the height of winter, according to experience, 
and the statick aphorisms of Sanctorius. 

Again, whereas men affirm they perceive an addition of 
ponderosity in dead bodies, comparing them usually unto 
blocks and stones, whensoever they lift or carry them ; this 
accessional preponderancy is rather in appearance than reality. 
For being destitute of any motion, they confer no relief unto 
the agents or elevators, which make us meet with the same 
complaints of gravity in animated and living bodies, where 
the nerves subside, and the faculty locomotive seems abo- 
lished, as may be observed in the lifting or supporting of per- 
sons inebriated, apoplectical, or in lipothymies and swoonings. 

Many are also of opinion, and some learned men maintain, 
that men are lighter after meals than before, and that by a 
supply and addition of spirits obscuring the gross ponderosity 
of the aliment ingested; but the contrary hereof we have 
found in the trial of sundry persons in different sex and 
ages. And we conceive men may mistake, if they distin- 
guish not the sense of levity unto themselves, and in regard 
of the scale, or decision of trutination. 6 For after a draught 
of wine, a man may seem lighter in himself from sudden 
refection, although he be heavier in the balance, from a cor- 
poral and ponderous addition ; but a man in the morning is 

G trutination^] The act of weighing in scales ; from truUna. 


lighter in the scale, because in sleep some pounds have 
perspired; and is also lighter unto himself, because he is 

And to speak strictly, a man that holds his breath is 
weightier while his lungs are full, than upon expiration. For 
a bladder blown is weightier than one empty ; and if it con- 
tain a quart, expressed and emptied it will abate about a 
quarter of a grain. And therefore we somewhat mistrust 
the experiment of a pumice-stone taken up by Montanus, in 
his comment upon Avicenna, where declaring how the rarity 
of parts, and numerosity of pores, occasioneth a lightness in 
bodies, he affirms that a pumice-stone powdered is lighter 
than one entire ; which is an experiment beyond our satis- 
faction; for, beside that abatement can hardly be avoided 
in the trituration, if a bladder of good capacity will scarce 
include a grain of air, a pumice of three or four drachms, 
cannot be presumed to contain the hundredth part thereof; 
which will not be sensible upon the exactest beams we use. 
Nor is it to be taken strictly, what is delivered by the learned 
Lord Verulam, and referred unto further experiment ; that 
a dissolution of iron in aqua fortis, will bear as good weight 
as their bodies did before, notwithstanding a great deal of 
waste by a thick vapour that issueth during the working : 
for we cannot find it to hold either in iron or copper, which 
is dissolved with less ebullition ; and hereof we made trial 
in scales of good exactness ; wherein if there be a defect, or 
such as will not turn upon quarter grains, there may be 
frequent mistakes in experiments of this nature. That also 
may be considered which is delivered by Hamerus Poppius, 
that antimony calcined or reduced to ashes by a burning 
glass, although it emit a gross and ponderous exhalation, 
doth rather exceed than abate its former gravity. 7 Never- 
theless, strange it is, how very little and almost insensible 
abatement there will be sometimes in such operations, or 
rather some increase, as in the refining of metals, in the test 
of bone-ashes, according to experience : and in a burnt 

7 that antimony, %c.~] This is like powdered weighs heavier then before, 
that other refuted before, that a pumice — Wr. 


brick, as Monsieur de Calve,'* affirmeth. Mistake may be 
made in this way of trial ; when the antimony is not weighed 
immediately upon the calcination, but permitted the air, it 
imbibeth the humidity thereof, and so repaireth its gravity. 


That there are several passages for Meat and Drink. 

That there are different passages for meat and drink, the 
meat or dry aliment descending by the one, the drink or 
moistening vehicle by the other, is a popular tenet in our days, 
but was the assertion of learned men of old. For the same 
was affirmed by Plato, maintained by Eustathius in Macro- 
bius, and is deducible from Eratosthenes, Eupolis and 
Euripides. Now herein men contradict experience, not well 
understanding anatomy, and the use of parts. For at the 
throat there are two cavities or conducting parts ; the one 
the oesophagus or gullet, seated next the spine, a part official 
unto nutrition, and whereby the aliment both wet and dry is 
conveyed unto the stomach; the other (by which 'tis con- 
ceived the drink doth pass) is the weazand, rough artery, or 
wind-pipe, a part inservient to voice and respiration; for 
thereby the air descendeth into the lungs, and is communi- 
cated unto the heart. And therefore, all animals that breathe 
or have lungs, have also the weazand ; but many have the 
gullet or feeding channel, which have no lungs or wind-pipe ; 
as fishes which have gills, whereby the heart is refrigerated ; 
for such thereof as have lungs and respiration, are not 
without the weazand, as whales and cetaceous animals. 

Again, beside these parts destined to divers offices, there 
is a peculiar provision for the wind-pipe, that is, a cartilagi- 
neous flap upon the opening of the larynx or throttle, which 
hath an open cavity for the admission of the air ; but lest 
thereby either meat or drink should descend, Providence 

* Des Pierres. 


hath placed the epiglottis', ligula, or flap like an ivy leaf, 
which always closeth when we swallow, or when the meat and 
drink passeth over it into the gullet. Which part although all 
have not that breathe, as all cetaceous and oviparous animals, 
yet is the weazand secured some other way ; and therefore in 
whales that breathe, lest the water should get into the lungs, 
an ejection thereof is contrived by a fistula or spout at the 
head. And therefore also, though birds have no epiglottis, 
yet can they so contract the rim or chink of their larynx, as 
to prevent the admission of wet or dry ingested; either 
whereof getting in, occasioneth a cough, until it be ejected. 
And this is the reason why a man cannot drink and breathe 
at the same time ; why, if we laugh while we drink, the 
drink flies out at the nostrils ; why, when the water enters 
the weazand, men are suddenly drowned ; and thus must it be 
understood, when we read of one that died by the seed of 
a grape,'* and another by an hair in milk. 8 

Now if any shall affirm, that some truth there is in the 
assertion, upon the experiment of Hippocrates, who, killing an 
hog after a red potion, found the tincture thereof in the 
larynx ; if any will urge the same from medical practice, 
because in affections both of lungs and weazand, physicians 
make use of syrups, and lambitive medicines ; 9 we are not 
averse to acknowledge, that some may distil and insinuate into 
the wind-pipe, and medicines may creep down, as well as the 
rheum before them : yet to conclude from hence, that air and 
water have both one common passage, were to state the 
question upon the weaker side of the distinction, and from a 
partial or guttulous irrigation to conclude a total descension. 

* Anacreon the Poet, if the story be taken literally. 

8 by an hair in milk.] And a woman downe with the rheumes, they may both 
in Knowle,Wiltes, by a piece of the great abate and correct the cold crude salt 
tendon in a neck of veale (which is com- corroding qualityes of rheumes: and 
monly cald the Halifax) which getting withall by the heat of the ingredients, 
sodenly within the larinx chokt her. — and the balmy benigne quality of sugar, 
Wr. See my note relating the death of att once arme and warme the lungs, and 
Lord Boringdon, at p. 336. withall thicken the rheum that fals, that 

9 syrups.] In a dangerous catharr, itt may bee more easily expectorated. — 
the end of giving syrupes is, that sliding Wr. 



Of saluting upon Sneezing. 

Concerning Sternutation or Sneezing, and the custom of 
saluting or blessing upon that motion, it is pretended, and 
generally believed, to derive its original from a disease, 
wherein sternutation proved mortal, and such as sneezed, 
died. And this may seem to be proved from Carolus Sigo- 
nius, who in his History of Italy, makes mention of a pestilence 
in the time of Gregory the Great, that proved pernicious 
and deadly to those that sneezed. Which notwithstanding 
will not sufficiently determine the grounds hereof, that custom 
having an elder era than this chronology afFordeth. 

For although the age of Gregory extend above a thou- 
sand, yet is this custom mentioned by Apuleius, in the fable 
of the fuller's wife, who lived three hundred years before, 
by Pliny in that problem of his, cur sternutantes salutantur ; 
and there are also reports that Tiberius the emperor, other- 
wise a very sour man, would perform this rite most punctually 
unto others, and expect the same from others unto himself, 
Petronius Arbiter, who lived before them both, and was 
proconsul of Bithynia in the reign of Nero, hath mentioned 
it in these words, Gyton collectione spiritus plenus, ter con' 
tinud ita sternutavit, ut grabatum concuteret, ad quern motum 
Eumolpus conversus, Solvere Gytona jubet. Ccelius Rho- 
diginus hath an example hereof among the Greeks, far an- 
cienter than these, that is, in the time of Cyrus the younger, 
when consulting about their retreat, it chanced that one 
among them sneezed, at the noise whereof the rest of the 
soldiers called upon Jupiter Soter. There is also in the 
Greek Anthology a remarkable mention hereof in an epigram, 
upon one Proclus ; the Latin whereof we shall deliver, as we 
find it often translated. 

VOL. Hi. d , 


Non potis est Proclus digitis emungere nasum, 

Namq ; est pro nasi mole pusilla manus : 
Non vocat ille Jo vera sternutans, quippe nee audit 

Sternutamentum, tarn procul aure sonat. 

Froclus with his hand his nose can never wipe, 

His hand too little is his nose to gripe ; 
He sneezing calls not Jove, for why ? he hears 

Himself not sneeze, the sound 's so far from 's ears. 

Nor was this only an ancient custom among the Greeks 
and Romans, and is still in force with us, but is received at 
this day in remotest parts of Africa. 1 For so we read in 
Codignus,* that upon a sneeze of the Emperor of Mono- 
motapa, there passed acclamations successive through the 
city ; and as remarkable an example there is of the same 
custom, in the remotest parts of the East, recorded in the 
travels of Pinto. 

But the history will run much higher, if we should take in 
the rabbinical account hereof, that sneezing was a mortal sign 
even from the first man, until it was taken off by the 
special supplication of Jacob. From whence, as a thankful 
acknowledgment, this salutation first began, and was after 
continued by the expression of Tobim Chaiim, or vita bona, 
by standers by, upon all occasion of sneezing. 2 

Now the ground of this ancient custom was probably the 
opinion the ancients held of sternutation, 3 which they gene- 
rally conceived to be a good sign or a bad, and so upon this 
motion accordingly used a salve or ZeD tfwtfov, as a gratulation 
for the one, and a deprecation for the other. Now of the 
ways whereby they enquired and determined its signality; 
the first was natural, arising from physical causes, and conse- 
quences oftentimes naturally succeeding this motion, and so 
it might be justly esteemed a good sign ; for sneezing being 
properly a motion of the brain, suddenly expelling through 
the nostrils what is offensive unto it, it cannot but afford some 

* De rebus Abassinorum. 

1 Africa,'] And in Otaheite. — Jeff. define itt to be the trumpet of nature 

2 And as remarkable, Sfc] This ssn- upon the ejection of a noxious vapour 
tence and the following paragraph were from the braine, and therefore saye 
added in 3rd edition. rightly itt is bonum signum mala causa, 

3 sternutation.] Physitians generallye sc. deputes, — Wr. 


evidence of its vigour, and therefore, saith Aristotle,* they 
that hear it, irgooxvvovoiv ug hgov, 'honour it as somewhat sacred,' 
and a sign of sanity in the diviner part, and this he illus- 
trates from the practice of physicians, who in persons near 
death, do use sternutatories, or such medicines as provoke 
unto sneezing, when if the faculty awaketh, and sternutation 
ensueth, they conceive hopes of life, and with gratulation 
receive the signs of safety.f And so is it also of good signality, 
according to that of Hippocrates, that sneezing cureth the 
hiccough, and is profitable unto women in hard labour, and 
so is it good in lethargies, apoplexies, catalepsies, and comas. 
And in this natural way is it sometime likewise of bad effects 
or signs, and may give hints of deprecation ; as in diseases 
of the chest, for therein Hippocrates condemneth it as too 
much exagitating ; in the beginning of catarrhs, according 
unto Avicenna ? as hindering concoction ; in new and tender 
conceptions, as Pliny observeth, for then it endangers abor- 

The second way was superstitious and augurial, as Ccelius 
Rhodiginus hath illustrated in testimonies as ancient as 
Theocritus and Homer; as appears from the Athenian master, 
who would have retired because a boat-man sneezed ; and 
the testimony of Austin, that the ancients were wont to go 
to bed again if they sneezed while they put on their shoe. 
And in this way it was also of good and bad signification ; so 
Aristotle hath a problem, why sneezing from noon unto mid- 
night was good, but from night to noon unlucky. So Eu- 
stathius upon Homer observes, that sneezing to the left hand 
was unlucky, but prosperous unto the right ; so, as Plutarch 
relateth, when Themistocles sacrificed in his galley before 
the battle of Xerxes, and one of the assistants upon the right 
hand sneezed, Euphrantides, the soothsayer, presaged the 
victory of the Greeks, and the overthrow of the Persians. 

Thus we may perceive the custom is more ancient than 
commonly conceived, and these opinions hereof in all ages, 
not any one disease, to have been the occasion of this salute 
and deprecation. Arising at first from this vehement and 

* Problems, sect. 33. -f- 2 Kings iv, 35. 

D 2 


affrighting motion of the brain, inevitably observable unto the 
standers by ; from whence some finding dependent effects to 
ensue, others ascribing hereto as a cause what perhaps but 
casually or inconnexedly succeeded, they might proceed unto 
forms of speeches, felicitating the good, or deprecating the 
evil to follow. 


That Jews Stink. 

That Jews stink 4 naturally, that is, that in their race and 
nation there is an evil savour, is a received opinion we know 
not how to admit, although we concede many questionable 
points, and dispute not the verity of sundry opinions which 
are of affinity hereto. We will acknowledge that certain 
odours attend on animals, no less than certain colours ; that 
pleasant smells are not confined unto vegetables, but found in 
divers animals, and some more richly than in plants; and 
though the problem of Aristotle enquires why no animal 
smells sweet beside the pard, yet later discoveries add divers 
sorts of monkeys, the civet cat and gazela,from which our musk 
proceedeth. We confess that beside the smell of the species 
there may be individual odours, and every man may have 
a proper and peculiar savour, which although not perceptible 
unto man, who hath this sense but weak, is yet sensible unto 
dogs, who hereby can single out their masters in the dark. 
We will not deny that particular men have sent forth a plea- 
sant savour, as Theophrastus and Plutarch report of Alex- 

4 That Jews slinlc] The Jews anxious- Howell, in a letter written to Lord 
ly observing the prohibited eating of Clifford, in reply to his enquiries respect- 
blood keepe their flesh covered with ing the Jews, does not hesitate to adopt 
onyons and garleek till itt putrifie, and the common opinion as one so well known 
contracte as bad a smell as that of rot- as to need no proof. " As they are," 
tenes from those strong sawces; and soe says he, " the most contemptible people, 
by continual use thereof emit a loathsom and have a kind of fulsome scent, no 
savour, as Mr. Fulham experimented in better than a stink, that distinguisheth 
Italye at a Jewish meeting, with the them from others, so they are the most 
hazard of life, till he removed into the timorous people on earth, &c." Familiar 
fresh air. Testeipsofide dignissimo. — Wr. Letters, book I, § G, letter xv, p. 252. 


ander the Great, and Tzetzes and Cardan do testify of them- 
selves. That some may also emit an unsavory odour, we 
have no reason to deny ; for this may happen from the quality 
of what they have taken, the fcetor whereof may discover 
itself by sweat and urine, as being unmasterable by the 
natural heat of man, not to be dulcified by concoction beyond 
an unsavory condition ; the like may come to pass from 
putrid humours, as is often discoverable in putrid and malig- 
nant fevers ; and sometime also in gross and humid bodies 
even in the latitude of sanity, the natural heat of the parts 
being insufficient for a perfect and thorough digestion, and 
the errors of one concoction not rectifiable by another. But 
that an unsavory odour is gentilitious or national unto the 
Jews, if rightly understood, we cannot well concede, nor will 
the information of reason or sense induce it. 

For first, upon consult of reason, there will be found no 
easy assurance to fasten a material or temperamental pro- 
priety upon any nation; there being scarce any condition 
(but what depends upon clime) which is not exhausted or ob- 
scured from the commixture of introvenient nations either by 
commerce or conquest ; much more will it be difficult to make 
out this affection in the Jews ; whose race however pretend- 
ded to be pure, must needs have suffered inseparable com- 
mixtures with nations of all sorts ; not only in regard of their 
proselytes, but their universal dispersion ; some being posted 
from several parts of the earth, others quite lost, and swal- 
lowed up in those nations where they plantecL For the 
tribes of Reuben, Gad, part of Manasses and Naphthali, 
which were taken by Assur, and the rest at the sacking of 
Samaria, which were led away by Salmanasser into Assyria, 
and after a year and half arrived at Arsereth, as is delivered 
in Esdras ; these I say never returned, 5 and are by the Jews 

5 For the tribes, fyc."\ The subsequent be found in the countries of their first 

history of the ten tribes, who were car- captivity." In support of which opinion 

ried into captivity at the fall of Samaria, he cites the following passage from a 

has ever remained and must remain a speech of King Agrippa to the Jews, in 

matter of conjecture — It is however the reign of Vespasian ; — " What, do you 

most probable that our author's supposi- stretch your hopes beyond the river 

tion is correct. Dr. Claudius Buchanan, Euphrates? — Do any of you think that 

is satisfied " that the greater part of your fellow-tribes will come to your aid 

the ten tribes, which now exist, are to out of Adiabenc ? Besides, if they would 


as vainly expected as their Messias. Of those of the tribe 
of Judah and Benjamin, which were led captive into Baby- 
lon by Nebuchadnezzar, many returned under Zorobabel ; 
the rest remained, and from thence long after, upon invasion 
of the Saracens, fled as far as India ; where yet they are 
said to remain, but with little difference from the Gentiles. 

The tribes that returned to Judea, were afterward widely 
dispersed ; for beside sixteen thousand which Titus sent to 
Rome under the triumph of his father Vespasian, he sold no 
less than an hundred thousand for slaves. Not many years 
after, Adrian the emperor, who ruined the whole country, 
transplanted many thousands into Spain, from whence they 
dispersed into divers countries, as into France and England, 
but were banished after from both. From Spain they disper- 
sed into Africa, Italy, Constantinople, and the dominions of 
the Turk, where they remain as yet in very great numbers. 
And if, (according to good relations,) where they may freely 
speak it, they forbear not to boast that there are at present 
many thousand Jews in Spain, France, and England, and 
some dispensed withal even to the degree of priesthood ; it 
is a matter very considerable, and could they be smelled out, 
would much advantage, not only the church of Christ, but 
also the coffers of princes. 6 

Now having thus lived in several countries, and always in 
subjection, they must needs have suffered many commixtures ; 
and we are sure they are not exempted from the common 

come, the Parthian will not permit it. Christian Researches in Asia, p. 239. 
" Joseph, de Bell. lib. ii, c. 2S, — a proof, The Samaritan traditions however 
as the Dr. remarks, that the ten tribes might lead to the opinion that a con- 
were still in captivity, in Media, under siderable remnant of the Israelites avoi- 
the Persian princes, during the 1st ded captivity, and were left on the soil 
century of the Christian era, 700 years of Palestine. The singular fact that they 
after their transplantation. Again he have preserved the Mosaic law in the 
adduces a passage from Jerome, written ruder and more ancient character, strong- 
in the 5th century, in his notes on ly confirms this hypothesis, which de- 
Hosea; — "unto this day the ten tribes rives additional support also from various 
are subject to the Kings of the Persians, other considerations. — See History oj the 
nor has their captivity ever been loosed." Jews, (Fam. Lib.) ii, 10. 
He says also, " the ten tribes inhabit at c The tribes, fyc."] The subject of this 
this day the cities and mountains of the paragraph is fully treated in the course 
Medes,'' torn, vi, p. 80. To this day, of the History of the Jews, referred to 
continues Dr. B., no family, Jew, or in the preceding note : the last chapter 
Christian, is permitted to leave the Per- of which gives a very elaborate and 
sian territories without the king's per- careful estimate of the present number 
mission. — See Dr. Claudius Buchanan's of Jews in various countries. 


contagion of venery contracted first from Christians. Nor 
are fornications unfrequent between them both ; there com- 
monly passing opinions of invitement, that their women 
desire copulation with them rather than their own nation, 
and affect Christian carnality above circumcised venery. It 
being therefore acknowledged, that some are lost, evident 
that others are mixed, and not assured that any are distinct, 
it will be hard to establish this quality upon the Jews, unless 
we also transfer the same unto those whose generations are 
mixed, whose genealogies are Jewish, and naturally derived 
from them. 

Again, if we concede a national unsavouriness in any 
people, yet shall we find the Jews less subject hereto than 
any, and that in those regards which most powerfully concur 
to such effects, that is, their diet and generation. As for 
their diet, whether in obedience unto the precepts of reason, 
or the injunctions of parsimony, therein they are very tem- 
perate, seldom offending in ebriety or excess of drink, nor 
erring in gulosity or superfluity of meats ; whereby they 
prevent indigestion and crudities, 7 and consequently putre- 
scence of humours. They have in abomination all flesh 
maimed, or the inwards any way vitiated, and therefore eat 
no meat but of their own killing. They observe not only 
fasts at certain times, but are restrained unto very few dishes 
at all times ; so few, that whereas S. Peter's sheet will hardly 
cover our tables, their law doth scarce permit them to set 
forth a lordly-feast ; nor any way to answer the luxury of our 
times, or those of our fore-fathers. For of flesh their law 
restrains them many sorts, and such as complete our feasts : 
that animal, propter convivia natural they touch not, nor any 
of its preparations or parts, so much in respect at Roman 
tables, nor admit they unto their board, hares, conies, herons, 
plovers or swans. Of fishes they only taste of such as have 
both fins and scales, which are comparatively but few in num- 

* Quanti est gula, qva sibi totos ponit apros ! Animal propter convivia natum. 

7 indigestion and crudity es,~\ This hee who comes fasting into a great 
cruditye of indigestion is soe cleerly dis- schoole shall soone perceave itt, to hi* 
cernable in the breath of children; that smell, most odious. — Wr. 


ber ; such only, saith Aristotle, whose egg or spawn is arena- 
ceous : whereby are excluded all cetaceous and cartilagineous 
fishes ; many pectinal, whose ribs are rectilineal ; many 
costal, which have their ribs embowed ; all spinal, or such as 
have no ribs, but only a back-bone, or somewhat analogous 
thereto, as eels, congers, lampreys ; all that are testaceous, 
as oysters, cockles, wilks, scollops, muscles ; and likewise all 
crustaceous, as crabs, shrimps and lobsters. So that, ob- 
observing a spare and simple diet, whereby they prevent the 
generation of crudities ; and fasting often, whereby they 
might also digest them ; they must be less inclinable unto 
this infirmity than any other nation, whose proceedings are 
not so reasonable to avoid it. 

As for their generations and conceptions, (which are the 
purer from good diet,) they become more pure and perfect by 
the strict observation of their law ; upon the injunctions 
whereof, they severely observe the times of purification, and 
avoid all copulation, either in the uncleanness of themselves, 
or impurity of their women. A rule, I fear, not so well ob- 
served by Christians ; whereby not only conceptions are 
prevented, but if they proceed, so vitiated and defiled, that 
durable inquinations remain upon the birth. Which, when 
the conception meets with these impurities, must needs be 
very potent ; since in the purest and most fair conceptions, 
learned men derive the cause of pox and meazles, from prin- 
ciples of that nature ; that is, the menstruous impurities in 
the mother's blood, and virulent tinctures contracted by the 
infant, in the nutriment of the womb. 

Lastly, experience will convict it ; for this offensive odour 
is no way discoverable in their synagogues where many are, 8 
and by reason of their number could not be concealed : nor 
is the same discernable in commerce or conversation with 
such as are cleanly in apparel, and decent in their houses. 
Surely the Viziers and Turkish bashas are not of this opi- 
nion ; who, as Sir Henry Blunt informeth, do generally keep 
a Jew of their private council. And were this true, the 
Jews themselves do not strictly make out the intention of their 

8 many are,\ Sec the evidence hereof, p. 06, undeniably prooved. — Wr. 


law, for in vain do they scruple to approach the dead, who 
livingly are cadaverous, or fear any outward pollution, whose 
temper pollutes themselves. And lastly, were this true, yet 
our opinion is not impartial ; for unto converted Jews who 
are of the same seed, no man imputeth this unsavoury odour ; 
as though aromatized by their conversion, they lost their 
scent with their religion, and smelt no longer than they 
savoured of the Jew. 

Now the ground that begat or propagated this assertion, 
might be the distasteful averseness of the Christian from the 
Jew, upon the villany of that fact, which made them abomi- 
nable and stink in the nostrils of all men. Which real prac- 
tice and metaphorical expression did after proceed into a lit- 
eral construction ; but was a fraudulent illation ; for such an 
evil savour their father Jacob acknowledged in himself, when 
he said his sons had made him stink in the land, that is, to be 
abominable unto the inhabitants thereof.* Now how dan- 
gerous it is in sensible things to use metaphorical expressions 
unto the people, and what absurd conceits they will swallow 
in their literals, an impatient 9 example we have in our own 
profession ; who having called an eating ulcer by the name 
of a wolf, common apprehension conceives a reality therein, 
and against ourselves ocular affirmations are pretended to 
confirm it. 

The nastiness of that nation, and sluttish course of life, 
hath much promoted the opinion, occasioned by their servile 
condition at first, and inferior ways of parsimony ever since ; 
as is delivered by Mr. Sandys : they are generally fat, saith 
he, and rank of the savours which attend upon sluttish corpu- 
lency. 1 The epithets assigned them by ancient times, have 
also advanced the same ; for Ammianus Marcellinus describ- 
eth them in such language, and Martial more ancient, in 
such a relative expression sets forth unsavoury Bassa. 

Quod jejunia sabbatariorum 

Mallem, quam quod oles, olere, Bassa. 

* Gen. xxxiv. 

9 impatient.'] Lege insufferable — Wr. enoughe, leaving the cause to further 
1 rank, c<j-c] Which Mr. Fulham inquisition. — Wr. 
confirmd as above, p. 36. This is 


From whence, notwithstanding, we cannot infer an inward 
imperfection in the temper of that nation ; it being but an 
effect in the breath from outward observation, in their strict 
and tedious fasting ; and was a common effect in the breaths 
of other nations, became a proverb among the Greeks* and 
the reason thereof begot a problem in Aristotle. f 

Lastly, if all were true, and were this savour conceded, yet 
are the reasons alleged for it no way satisfactory. Huche- 
rius,f and after him Alsarius Crucius, J imputes this effect 
unto their abstinence from salt or salt meats ; ~ which how to 
make good in the present diet of the Jews, we know not ; 
nor shall we conceive it was observed of old, if we consider 
they seasoned every sacrifice, and all oblations whatsoever ; 
whereof we cannot deny a great part was eaten by the priests. 
And if the offering were of flesh, it was salted no less than 
thrice, that is, once in the common chamber of salt, at the 
footstep of the altar, and upon the top thereof, as is at large 
delivered by Maimonides. Nor, if they refrained all salt, is 
the illation very urgent : for many there are not noted for 
ill odours, 3 which eat no salt at all ; as all carnivorous ani- 
mals, most children, many whole nations, and probably our 
fathers after the creation ; there being indeed, in every thing 
we eat, a natural and concealed salt, 4 which is separated by 
digestions, as doth appear in our tears, sweat, and urines, 
although we refrain all salt, or what doth seem to contain it. 

Another cause is urged by Campegius, and much received 
by Christians ; that this ill savour is a curse derived upon 
them by Christ, and stands as a badge or brand of a genera- 
tion that crucified their Saloator. But this is a conceit with- 
out all warrant, and an easy way to take off dispute in what 
point of obscurity soever. A method of many writers, which 
much depreciates the esteem and value of miracles ; that is, 
therewith to salve not only real verities, but also non-existen- 

* Njjtfre/as oZflV. Jejunia olerc. f Be SterUitalc. % Cruc. Med. Epist. 

2 salt meats."] Which they supply with But the many circulations of them ac- 
onyons and garlick, ut supra. — Wr. quiring saltnes from the natural! heate, 

3 not noted, S;c.~] This is contrarycd send out that unnecessary saltnes in 
by experience. Supra, p. 36. — Wr. sweat and teares and urine, and gene- 

4 salt.] The earthy being separat- rally in salivation. — Wr. 
ed, leaves the other sweet, not salt. 


cies. Thus have elder times not only ascribed the immunity 
of Ireland from any venomous beast unto the staff or rod of 
Patrick, but the long tails of Kent unto the malediction of 
Austin. 5 

Thus therefore, although we concede that many opinions 
are true which hold some conformity unto this, yet in assent- 
ing hereto many difficulties must arise ; it being a dangerous 
point to annex a constant property unto any nation, and 
much more this unto the Jew ; since their quality is not veri- 
fied by observation ; 6 since the grounds are feeble that should 
establish it ; and lastly, since if all were true, yet are the rea- 
sons alleged for it of no sufficiency to maintain it. 


Of Pygmies. 

By pigmies we understand a dwarfish race of people, or low- 
est diminution of mankind, comprehended in one cubit, or as 
some will have it, in two foot or three spans ; not taking them 
single, but nationally considering them, and as they make up 
an aggregated habitation. Whereof, although affirmations 
be many, and testimonies more frequent than in any other 
point which wise men have cast into the list of fables, yet that 
there is, or ever was such a race or nation, upon exact and 
confirmed testimonies, our strictest enquiry receives no satis- 
faction. 7 ' 

5 long-tails of Kent. ,] Bailey gives the of St. Thomas of Canterbury's horse, 
following notice of these gentry : — " The who, being out of favour with King Hen- 
Kentish men are said to have had long ry II, riding towards Canterbury upon 
tails for some generations ; by way of a poor sorry horse, was so served by the 
punishment, as some say, for the Kent- common people." 
ish Pagans abusing Austin the monk and 6 not verifiable, <^c] It is, ut supra, 

his associates, by beating them, and op- p. 36 Wr. 

probriously tying fish-tails to their back- 1 By pygmies, <Sfc] Ross contends, — 

sides; in revenge of which, such appen- as he almost invariably does — for the 

dants grew to the hind parts of all that truth of the old saying. He argues that 

generation. But the scene of this lying "it stands with reason there should be 

wonder was not in Kent, but in Came, such, that God's wisdom might be seen 

in Dorsetshire, many miles off. Others in all sorts of magnitudes ; for if there 

again say it was for cutting off the tail have been giants, why not also pygmies 


I say " exact testimony," first, in regard of the authors 
from whom we derive the account : for, though we meet 
herewith in Herodotus, Philostratus, Mela, Pliny, Solinus, 
and many more, yet were they derivative relators, and the 
primitive author was Homer: who, using often similies, as 
well to delight the ear, as to illustrate his matter, in the third 
of his Iliads, compareth the Trojans unto cranes, when 
they descend against the pigmies ; which was more largely 
set out by Oppian, Juvenal, Mantuan, and many poets since, 
and being only a pleasant figment in the fountain, became a 
solemn story in the stream, and current still among us. 

Again, 8 many professed enquirers have rejected it. Strabo, 
an exact and judicious geographer, hath largely condemned 
it as a fabulous story. Julius Scaliger, a diligent enquirer, 
accounts thereof but as a poetical fiction. Ulysses Aldro- 
vandus, a most exact zoographer, in an express discourse 
hereon, concludes the story fabulous, and a poetical account 
of Homer ; and the same was formerly conceived by Eusta- 
thius, his excellent commentator. Albertus Magnus, a man 
ofttimes too credulous,' herein was more than dubious ; for he 
affirmeth if any such dwarfs were' ever extant, they were 
surely some kind of apes ; which is a conceit allowed by 
Cardan, 9 and not esteemed improbable by many others. 

There are, I confess, two testimonies, which from their 
authority, admit of consideration. The first, of Aristotle,* 
whose words are these, hn 8s 6 roTtog, &c. That is, Hie locus 
est quern incolunt pygmcei, non enim id fabula est, sed pusil- 
lum genus ut aiunt. Wherein indeed Aristotle plays the 
Aristotle, that is, the wary and evading assertor ; for though 
with non est fabula he seem at first to confirm it, yet at the 
last he claps in ut aiunt, and shakes the belief he put before 
upon it. And therefore I observe Scaliger hath not trans- 

* Hist. Animal, lib. viii. 

nature being as prepense to the least, as cited below. — iVr. 

to the greatest magnitude. He adduces 9 Cardan.] Rightly does he quote 

the testimony of Buchanan, who, speak- Cardan, who in the 8th book, De Varie- 

ing of the isles of Scotland, amongst the tate, cap. xl, p. 527, approves of Strabo's 

rest sets down the Isle of Pygmies. judgement of Homer's fiction : and con- 

8 Again.'] This paragraph is t;.ken eludes they were mistaken, being noe 

almost verbatim from Cardan in the place other then apes. — Wr. 


lated the first ; perhaps supposing it surreptitious or unwor- 
thy so great an assertor. And truly for those books of 
animals, or work of eight hundred talents, as Athenaeus 
terms it, although ever to be admired, as containing most ex- 
cellent truths, yet are many things therein delivered upon 
relation, and some repugnant unto the history of our senses ; 
as we are able to make out in some, and Scaliger hath ob- 
served in many more, as he hath freely declared in his com- 
ment upon that piece. 

The second testimony is deduced from Holy Scripture,* 
thus rendered in vulgar translation; Sed et Pygmcei qui 
erant in turribus tuis, pharetras suas suspenderunt in muris 
tuis per gyrum ; from whence notwithstanding we cannot 
infer this assertion. For, first, the translators accord not, 
and the Hebrew word gammadim is very variously rendered. 
Though Aquila, Vatablus, and Lyra will have it pygmei, yet 
in the Septuagint it is no more than watchmen, and so in the 
Arabic and High Dutch. In the Chaldee, Cappadocians; 
in Symmachus, Medes ; and in the French, those of Gamad. 
Theodotion of old, and Tremellius of late, have retained 
the textuary word, and so have the Italian, low Dutch and 
English translators ; that is, the men of Arvad were upon 
thy walls round about, and the Gammadims were in thy 
towers. Nor do men only dissent in the translation of the 
word, but in the exposition of the sense and meaning hereof; 
for some by Gammadims understand a people of Syria, so 
called from the city Gamala ;f some hereby understand the 
Cappadocians, many the Medes ; and hereof Forerius hath a 
singular exposition, conceiving the watchmen of Tyre might 
well be called pygmies, the towers of that city being so high, 
that unto men below they appeared in a cubital stature. 
Others expounded it quite contrary to common acception, 
that is, not men of the least, but of the largest size ; so doth 
Cornelius construe pygmcei, ovviri cubitales,that is, not men of 
a cubit high, but of the largest stature, whose height like that 
of giants, is rather to be taken by the cubit than the foot ; in 
which phrase we read the measure of Goliah, whose height is 

* Ezek. xxvii, 12. f See Mr. Fuller's excellent description of Palestine. 


said to be six cubits and a span. Of affinity hereto is also the 
exposition of Jerom ; not taking pygmies for dwarfs, but 
stout and valiant champions ; not taking the sense of *vyM> 
which signifies the cubit measure, but that which expresseth 
pugils, that is, men fit for combat and the exercise of the 
fist. Thus can there be no satisfying illation from this text, 
the diversity or rather contrariety of expositions and inter- 
pretations, distracting more than confirming the truth of the 
story. 1 

Again, I say, exact testimonies, in reference unto circum- 
stantial relations so diversely or contrarily delivered. Thus 
the relation of Aristotle placeth them above Egypt towards 
the head of the Nile in Africa. Philostratus affirms they are 
about Ganges in Asia, and Pliny in a third place, that is, 
Gerania in Scythia ; some write they fight with cranes, but 
Menecles, in Athenseus, affirms they fight with partridges ; 
some say they ride on partridges, and some on the backs of 

Lastly, I say, confirmed testimonies ; for though Paulus 
Jovius delivers there are pygmies beyond Japan, Pigafeta, 
about the Moluccas, and Olaus Magnus placeth them in 
Greenland, yet wanting frequent confirmation in a matter so 
confirmable, their affirmation carrieth but slow persuasion, 
and wise men may think there is as much reality in the 
pygmies of Paracelsus, *" that is, his non-adamical men, or 
middle natures betwixt men and spirits. 

There being thus no sufficient confirmation of their verity, 
some doubt may arise concerning their possibility, wherein, 
since it is not defined in what dimensions the soul may exer- 
cise her faculties, we shall not conclude impossibility, or that 
there might not be a race of pygmies, as there is sometimes 
of giants. So may we take in the opinion of Austin, and his 
comment Ludovicus. 2 But to believe they should be in the 
stature of a foot or span, requires the preaspection of such a 

* By pygmies intending fairies and other spirits about the earth ; as by nymphs 
and salamanders, spirits of fire and water. Lib. Be Pygmceis, Nymphis, §c. 

1 story.'] The least I suppose that ever immensce. Suetonius in Octavio, § 53. 

was seen and lived long, was Lucius Certainly few apes come under this 

Augustus his dwarfe, who was bipedali hight. 

minor, librarum septendecitn, sed vocis 2 Ludovicus.'] Lud. Vives. 


one as Philetas, the poet, in Athenaeus, who was fain to fasten 
lead unto his feet, lest the wind should blow him away ; or 
that other in the same author, who was so little ut ad obolum 
accederet ; a story so strange, that we might herein excuse 
the printer, did not the account of iElian accord unto it, as 
Casaubon hath observed in his learned animadversions. 

Lastly, if any such nation there were, yet it is ridiculous 
what men have delivered of them ; that they fight with cranes 
upon the backs of rams or patridges ; or what is delivered 
by Ctesias, that they are negroes in the midst of India, 
whereof the king of that country entertaineth three thousand 
archers for his guard, which is a relation below the tale of 
Oberon ; nor could they better defend him than the emblem 
saith, they offended Hercules whilst he slept, that is, to 
wound him no deeper than to awake him. 


Of the Great Climacterical Year, that is, Sixty-three. 

Concerning the eyes of the understanding, and those of the 
sense, are differently deceived in their greatest objects. The 
sense apprehending them in lesser magnitudes than their 
dimensions require ; so it beholdeth the sun, the stars, and 
the earth itself. But the understanding quite otherwise ; 
for that ascribeth unto many things far larger horizons than 
their due circumscriptions require, and receiveth them with 
amplifications which their reality will not admit. Thus hath 
it fared with many heroes and most worthy persons, who, 
being sufficiently commendable from true and unquestionable 
merits, have received advancement from falsehood and the 
fruitful stock of fables. Thus hath it happened unto the 
stars, and luminaries of heaven ; who, being sufficiently ad- 
mirable in themselves, have been set out by effects, no way 
dependent on their efficiencies, and advanced by amplifica- 
tions to the questioning of their true endowments. Thus is 
it not improbable it hath also fared with number, which 


though wonderful in itself, and sufficiently magnifiable from 
its demonstrable affections, hath yet received adjections from 
the multiplying conceits of men, and stands laden with addi- 
tions which its equity will not admit. 

And so perhaps hath it happened unto the numbers 
seven and nine, which multiplied into themselves do make up 
sixty-three, commonly esteemed the great climacterical of our 
lives. For the days of men are usually cast up by septenaries, 
and every seventh year conceived to carry some altering 
character with it, either in the temper of body, mind, or both. 
But among all other, three are most remarkable, that is, seven 
times seven, or forty-nine ; nine times nine, or eighty-one ; 
and seven times nine, or the year of sixty three, which is 
conceived to carry with it the most considerable fatality, and 
consisting of both the other numbers, was apprehended to 
comprise the virtue of either, is therefore expected and enter- 
tained with fear, and esteemed a favour of fate to pass it 
over; which, notwithstanding, many suspect to be but a 
panic terror, and men to fear they justly know not what, and 
to speak indifferently I find no satisfaction, nor any sufficiency 
in the received grounds to establish a rational fear. 

Now herein to omit astrological considerations (which are 
but rarely introduced,) the popular foundation whereby it 
hath continued, is first, the extraordinary power and secret 
virtue conceived to attend these numbers, whereof we must 
confess there have not wanted, not only especial commenda- 
tions, but very singular conceptions, Among philosophers, 
Pythagoras seems to have played the leading part, which was 
long after continued by his disciples and the Italick school. 
The philosophy of Plato, and most of the Platonists, abounds 
in numeral considerations. Above all, Philo, the learned 
Jew, hath acted this part even to superstition, bestowing 
divers pages in summing up every thing, which might ad- 
vantage this number. Which, notwithstanding, when a serious 
reader shall perpend, he will hardly find any thing that may 
convince his judgment, or any further persuade than the 
lenity of his belief, or prejudgment of reason inclineth. 3 


Which, notwithstanding, c^-c] The following brief and pious exclamation: — 
(lent Bishop Hall sums up in the " Away with all niceties of Pythagorean 


For first, not only the numbers seven and nine, from conside- 
rations abstruse have been extolled by most, but all or most of 
the other digits have been as mystically applauded. For the 
numbers one and three have not been only admired by the 
heathens, but from adorable grounds, the unity of God, and 
mystery of the Trinity, admired by many Christians. The 
number four stands much admired, not only in the quater- 
nity of the elements, (which are the principles of bodies,) 
but in the letters of the name of God, (which in the Greek, 
Arabian, Persian, Hebrew and Egyptian, consisteth of that 
number,) and was so venerable among the Pythagoreans, 
that they swore by the number four. 4 That of six hath 
found many leaves in its favour ; not only for the days of the 
creation, but its natural consideration, as being a perfect 
number, and the first that is completed by its parts, that is 
the sixth, the half, and the third, 1 , 2, 3, which drawn into 
a sum make six. The number of ten hath been as highly 
extolled, as containing even, odd, long, plain, quadrate and 
cubical numbers ; and Aristotle observed with admiration, 
that Barbarians, as well as Greeks, did use a numeration unto 
ten, which being so general was not to be judged casual, 
but to have a foundation in nature. So that not only seven 
and nine, but all the rest have had their eulogies, as may be 
observed at large in Rhodiginus, and in several writers since ; 
every one extolling number, according to his subject, and as 
it advantaged the present discourse in hand. 

Again, they have been commended, not only from pretend- 
ed grounds in nature, but from artificial, casual, or fabulous 
foundations: so have some endeavoured to advance their 
admiration, from the nine muses, from the seven wonders of 
the world, from the seven gates of Thebes ; in that seven 
cities contended for Homer, in that there are seven stars in 
Ursa minor, and seven in Charles's wain, or Plaustrum of 
Ursa major. Wherein indeed, although the ground be 
natural, yet, either from constellations or their remarkable 

calculations; all numbers are alike to man, dilated into a pentalpJia. — Wr. 
me, save those which God himself hath It is not a little singular that, in this 

chalked out to us!" — Bp. Hall's Works, enumeration, the author of the Quincunx 

p. 510. should have omitted the number five. 
4 four.~\ 5 : for the dimensions of 



parts, there is the like occasion to commend any other num- 
ber; the number five from the stars in Sagitta, three from 
the girdle of Orion, and four from Equiculus, Crusero, or 
the feet of the Centaur : yet are such as these clapped in by 
very good authors, and some not omitted by Philo. 

Nor are they only extolled from arbitrary and poetical 
grounds, but from foundations and principles, false or dubious. 
That women are menstruant, and men pubescent at the year 
of twice seven is accounted a punctual truth ; which period 
nevertheless we dare not precisely determine, as having 
observed a variation and latitude in most, agreeable unto the 
heat of clime or temper ; men arising variously unto virility, 
according to the activity of causes that promote it. Sanguis 
menstruosus ad diem, ut plurimum, septimum durat, saith 
Philo : which notwithstanding is repugnant unto experience, 
and the doctrine of Hippocrates ; who in his book, de diceta, 
plainly affirmeth, it is thus but with few women, and only 
such as abound with pituitous and watery humours. 

It is further conceived to receive addition, in that there 
are seven heads of Nile ; but we have made manifest else- 
where, 5 that by the description of geographers, they have 
been sometime more, 6 and are at present fewer ; in that there 
were seven wise men of Greece ; which though generally re- 
ceived, yet having enquired into the verity thereof we cannot 
so readily determine it : for in the life of Thales, who was 
accounted in that number, Diogenes Laertius plainly saith, 
Magna de eorum numero discordia est, some holding but 
four, some ten, others twelve, and none agreeing in their 
names, though according in their number. In that there are 
just seven 7 planets or errant stars in the lower orbs of 
heaven : but it is now demonstrable unto sense, that there 
are many more, as Galileo * hath declared ; that is, two 

* Nuncius Sydcrus. 

5 elsewhere,] See book vi, c. 8. center of the universe fixte and immovea- 

6 more,! Honterus reckoned of old, ble, as the Copernicans contend, then 
noe fewer then 1C : whereof now the there arc but 5 primary e planets as they 
slime of Nilus (since itt was banked in call them. For the moon they say is a 
divers places) hath obstructed eleven. — secondary planet, and the earthe another. 
Wr. — Wr. — We must suspect an error in 

7 seven,] Yf the sun be sett in the this note. 


more in the orb of Saturn, and no less than four or more in 
the sphere of Jupiter. And the like may be said of the 
pleiades or seven stars, which are also introduced to magnify 
this number ; for whereas, scarce discerning six, we account 
them seven, by his relation, there are no less than forty. 8 

That the heavens are encompassed with seven circles, 9 is 
also the allegation of Philo ; which are, in his account, the 
arctick, antarctick, the summer and winter tropicks, the equa- 
tor, zodiack, and the milky circle ; whereas by astronomers they 
are received in greater number. For though we leave out the 
lacteous circle, (which Aratus, Geminus, (and Proclus, out 
of him,) hath numbered among the rest,) yet are there more 
by four than Philo mentions ; that is, the horizon, meridian, 
and both the colures ; circles very considerable, and general- 
ly delivered, not only by Ptolemy, and the astronomers since 
his time, but such as flourished long before, as Hipparchus 
and Eudoxus. So that, for ought I know, if it make for our 
purpose, or advance the theme in hand, with equal liberty 
we may affirm there were seven sibyls, or but seven signs in 
the zodiack circle of heaven. 

That verse in Virgil, translated out of Homer,* O terque ; 
quaterque beati, (that is, as men will have it, seven times hap- 
py,) hath much advanced this number in critical apprehen- 
sions. Yet is not this construction so indubitably to be 
received, as not at all to be questioned : for, though Rhodi- 
ginus, Beroaldus, and others, from the authority of Macro- 
bius, so interpret it, yet Servius, his ancient commentator, 
conceives no more thereby than a finite number for indefinite, 
and that no more is implied than often happy. Strabo, the 
ancientest of them all, conceives no more, by this in Homer, 
than a full and excessive expression ; whereas, in common 
phrase and received language, he should have termed them 
thrice happy, herein, exceeding that number, he called them 

* Tg/£ f/jCMagsg Aavcco/ xai rirgaiuc. 

8 forty.~\ Discernable by a good tele- bee a tbirde : the zodiack, a fourth : the 
scope. — Wr. horison a fifth; the colure of solstice 

9 seven circles,] The 2 pole circles are (i.e. the meridian) a sixte : and the aequi- 
in effect but as one, to this intention: noctial colure a seventhe. — Wr. 
likewise the 2 tropicks : let the oequator 

E 2 


four times happy, that is^ more than thrice. And this he 
illustrates by the like expression of Homer, in the speech of 
Circe, who, to express the dread and terror of the ocean, 
sticks not unto the common form of speech in the strict ac- 
count of its reciprocations, but largely speaking, saith, it ebbs 
and flows no less than thrice a day, terque die revomitfluctas, 
iterumque resorbet. And so when 't is said by Horace, feli- 
■ces ter et amplius, the exposition is sufficient, if we conceive 
no more than the letter fairly beareth, that is, four times, or 
indefinitely more than thrice. 

But the main considerations, which most set off this num- 
ber, are observations drawn from the motions of the moon 
supposed to be measured by sevens ; and the critical or 
decretory days 1 dependent on that number. As for the mo- 
tion of the moon, though we grant it to be measured by- 
sevens, yet will not this advance the same before its fellow 
numbers ; for hereby the motion of other stars are not 
measured, the fixed stars by many thousand years, the sun 
by 365 days, the superior planets by more, the inferior by 
somewhat less. And if we consider the revolution of the 
first moveable, and the daily motion from east to west, com- 
mon unto all the orbs, we shall find it measured by another 
number, for being performed in four and twenty hours, it is 
made up of four times six : and this is the measure and 
standard of other parts of time, of months, of years, olym- 
piads, lustres, indictions of cycles, jubilees, &c. 

Again, months are not only lunary, and measured by the 
moon, but also solary, and determined by the motion of the 
sun; that is the space wherein the sun doth pass thirty 

1 decretory days,] Dayes of 24 houres 6939 dayes, IS hours: the difference is 

are properly the measure to which wee 1 hour, and 485 moments, which in 16 

reduce months and yeares. The rest cycles, or every 304 yeares makes almost 

are not reduced to dayes but years : a day of the moones anticipation. Of 

saving, that in the compute of the these dayes, since the Nicene council, 

sequinoctial procession caused by the we must accompt, noe less then 4 ; and 

Julian excess, wee accompt the thirty- of the oth a 3rd parte : by which the 

third bissextile daye supernumerary, and vernall full moone, cald the Terminus 

to bee rejected. Likewise in the decen- Paschal/s does now anticipate in the 

novall cycles. The true cycle of the Julian kalender. And this is that which 

moon is 6939 dayes, 16 houres, — the S reat Scaliger cals, WfO^yjJtf/y (WjXjJ- 

1 ' ' 1080 

moments. The Dionysian Paschal cycle vmx/lJV, II r. 
of 19 years, cald the golden number, is 


degrees of the ecliptick. By this month Hippocrates* com- 
puted the time of the infant's gestation in the womb ; for 
nine times thirty, that is, 270 days, or complete nine months, 
make up forty weeks, the common compute of women. And 
this is to be understood, when he saith, two days make the 
fifteenth, and three the tenth part of the month. This was 
the month of the ancient Hebrews, before their departure 
out of Egypt : 2 and hereby the compute will fall out right, 
and the account concur, when in one place it is said, the 
waters of the flood prevailed an hundred and fifty days, and 
in another it is delivered, that they prevailed from the 
seventeenth day of the second month, unto the seventeenth 
day of the seventh. As for hebdomadal periods or weeks, 
although in regard of their sabbaths they were observed by 
the Hebrews, yet it is not apparent the ancient Greeks or 
Romans used any ; but had another division of their months 
into ides, nones, and calends. 

Moreover, months, howsoever taken, are not exactly divis- 
ible into septenaries or weeks, which fully contain seven 
days ; whereof four times do make completely twenty-eight. 
For, beside the usual or calendary month, there are but four 
considerable : 3 the month of peragration, of apparition, of 
consecution, and the medical or decretorial month ; whereof 
some come short, others exceed this account. A month of 
peragration is the time of the moon's revolution from any 
part of the zodiack unto the same again, and this containeth 
but twenty-seven days, and about eight hours ; which cometh 
short to complete the septenary account. The month of 
consecution, or as some will term it, of progression, is the 
space between one conjunction of the moon with the sun unto 
another: and this containeth twenty-nine days and an half; 
for the moon returning unto the same point wherein it was 
kindled by the sun, and not finding it there again, (for in the 
meantime, by its proper motion it hath passed through two 

* De Octomestri Partu. 

2 Egypt.] For they used the jEgyp- rising of the dogg-star — Wr. 
tian yeare of months, cald annus canica- 3 considerable. .] Considerable lunar 
laris, from the sun's revolution to the months. — Wr. 


signs, 4 ) it followeth after, and attains the sun in the space of 
two days and four hours more, which added unto the account 
of peragration, make twenty-nine days and an half; so that 
this month exceedeth the latitude of septenaries, and the 
fourth part comprehendeth more than seven days. A month 
of apparition is the space wherein the moon appeareth, (de- 
ducting three days wherein it commonly disappeared, and, 
being in combustion with the sun, is presumed of less acti- 
vity,) and this containeth but twenty-six days and twelve 
hours. The medical month not much exceedeth this, con- 
sisting of twenty-six days and twenty -two hours, and is made 
up out of all the other months. For if, out of twenty-nine 
and an half, the month of consecution, we deduct three days 
of disappearance, there will remain the month of apparition 
twenty-six days and twelve hours: whereto if we add twenty- 
seven days and eight hours, the month of paragration, there 
will arise fifty-three days and ten hours, which divided by 
two, makes twenty-six days and twenty-two hours ; called by 
physicians the medical month ; introduced by Galen against 
Archigenes for the better compute of decretory or critical 

As for the critical days (such I mean wherein upon a decer- 
tation between the disease and nature, there ensueth a sensi- 
ble alteration, either to life or death,) the reasons thereof are 
rather deduced from astrology than arithmetic : for, account- 
ing from the beginning of the disease, and reckoning on unto 
the seventh day, the moon will be in a tetragonal or quadrate 
aspect, 5 that is, four signs removed from that wherein the dis- 
ease began ; in the fourteenth day it will be in an opposite 

4 signs.] This was a mistake in the yet conveye their force conjoyntlye with 
learned author ; for the moon goes but greater power. Of other aspects, some 
one signe in 2 dayes and a half. And are cald happye, as the Trigon : first, 
how could the sun get through a whole bycause when planets arc 4 signes dis- 
signe in 27 days 8 hours? — Wr. tant, they are in signs of like nature, 

5 aspect.'] Aspect is a certaine distance agreeinge in the same active and passive 
of the planets wherein they are supposed qualityes. Next, Sextile, which is of 
to hinder or promote the effects which signes agreeing in one qualitye, and dis- 
they usually produce in the signes, and agreeing in another. But quadrate and 
in the bodily parts subject to them ; ac- opposite are in signes of contrarye quali- 
cording to which acception, conjunction tyes, and by their jarringe beames infest 
cannot bee properly cald an aspect, though each other, and are therefore cald, (not 
of all other postures in heaven to us it without great reason in nature) malefic, 
bee the strongest, bycause the planets, — Wr. 

however distant in altitude immensely, 


aspect; and at the end of the third septenary, tetragonal 
again ; as will most graphically appear in the figures of as- 
trologers, especially Lucas Gauricus, De diebus decretoriis. 

Again, (beside that, computing by the medical month, the 
first hebdomade or septenary consists of six days, seventeen 
hours and an half, the second happeneth in thirteen days and 
eleven hours, and the third but in the twentieth natural day,) — 
what Galen first, and Abenezra since observed, in his tract of 
Critical Days, in regard of eccentricity and the epicycle or 
lesser orb wherein it moveth, — the motion of the moon is va- 
rious and unequal, whereby the critical account must also 
vary. For though its middle motion be equal, and of thir- 
teen degrees, yet in the other it moveth sometimes fifteen, 
sometimes less than twelve. For, moving in the upper part 
of its orb, it performeth its motion more slowly than in the 
lower ; insomuch that, being at the height, it arriveth at the 
tetragonal and opposite signs sooner, and the critical day will 
be in six and thirteen ; and being at the lowest, the critical 
account will be out of the latitude of seven, nor happen be- 
fore the eighth or ninth day. Which are considerations not 
to be neglected in the compute of decretory days, and mani- 
festly declare that other numbers must have a respect herein 
as well as seven and fourteen. 

Lastly, some things to this intent are deduced from Holy 
Scripture ; thus is the year of jubilee introduced to magnify 
this number, as being a year made out of seven times seven ; 
wherein notwithstanding there may be a misapprehension ; 
for this ariseth not from seven times seven, that is, forty-nine, 
but was observed the fiftieth year, as is expressed, " And you 
shall hallow the fiftieth year, a jubilee shall that fiftieth year 
be unto you." Answerable whereto is the exposition of the 
Jews themselves, as is delivered by Ben-Maimon ; that is, 
the year of jubilee cometh not into the account of the years 
of seven, but the forty-ninth is the release, and the fiftieth 
the year of jubilee. Thus is it also esteemed no small ad- 
vancement unto this number, that the genealogy of our Sa- 
viour is summed up by fourteen, that is, this number doubled, 
according as is expressed, Matt. i. So all the generations, 
from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations ; and from 


David unto the carrying away into Babylon, are fourteen 
generations ; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto 
Christ, are fourteen generations. Which nevertheless must 
not be strictly understood as numeral relations require : for 
from David unto Jeconiah are accounted by Matthew but 
fourteen generations ; whereas according to the exact account 
in the History of Kings, there were at least seventeen ; and 
three in this account, that is, Ahazias, Joas, and Amazias, are 
left out. For so it is delivered by the evangelist, — " And 
Joram begat Ozias : " whereas in the regal genealogy there 
are three successions between ; for Ozias or Uzziah was the 
son of Amazias, Amazias of Joas, Joas of Azariah, and Aza- 
riah of Joram; so that in strict account, Joram was the 
abavus or grandfather twice removed, and not the father of 
Ozias. And these two omitted descents made a very con- 
siderable measure of time in the royal chronology of Judah; 
for though Azariah reigned but one year, yet Joas reigned 
forty, and Amazias no less than nine and twenty. However 
therefore these were delivered by the evangelist, and carry 
(no doubt) an incontrolable conformity unto the intention of 
his delivery ; 6 yet are they not appliable unto precise nu- 
merality, nor strictly to be drawn unto the rigid test of 

6 However, therefore, 8fC.~\ Whether ject which he had in view in giving such 
this omission originated with the Evan- a genealogy, was to prove that Jesus 
gelist, or existed in the Jewish registers, Christ, whom he was about to proclaim 
from which he copied, must ever remain to the Jews as their Messiah, was indeed 
the subject of conjecture ; as well as the descended from the stock of David, an- 
probable motive of the omission, in either swering — in this important respect — the 
case. That such publicly recognised ta- prophetic description of him ; a proof 
bles of descent existed, even to the time which the omission of several names 
of Jesus Christ, we know from Josephus, would in no degree affect. Now, as 
De Vita Sua, p. 998, d. ; and that Mat- Matthew was addressing Jews, it is very 
thew would use them, cannot be deemed likely that he would resort to a method 
unlikely. The most probable ground usually adopted among them, (probably 
for supposing the omission of these three for the facility of recollection which it af- 
kings in the public tables, is the curse forded;) viz. that of dividing the gene- 
denounced, on account of Ahab's awful alogy into classes, if possible of equal 
idolatry, against his family (into which extent. The threefold state of the Jews, 
Joram married,) even to the third or first, under patriarchs, prophets, and 
fourth generation. If however it be judges, then under kings, and lastly un- 
thought improbable that such hiatus ex- der princes and priests, rendered such a 
isted in the public genealogies, it must classification additionally proper. The 
then be attributed to the Evangelist him- reign of David, and the Babylonish cap- 
self. Nor will this perhaps be deemed an tivity, presented the most obvious points 
inadmissible hypothesis, if we fully con- of division : but when thus divided, the 
sider the circumstances. The sole ob- classes were of unequal extent ; the second 


Lastly, though many things have been delivered by authors 
concerning number, and they transferred unto the advantage 
of their nature, yet are they ofttimes otherwise to be under- 
stood than as they are vulgarly received in active and casual 
considerations; they being many times delivered hieroglyphi- 
cally, metaphorically, illustratively, and not with reference 
unto action or causality. True it is, that God made all 
things in number, weight, and measure, yet nothing by them 
or through the efficacy of either. Indeed our days, actions, 
and motions being measured by time, (which is but motion 
measured,) whatever is observable in any falls under the ac- 
count of some number ; which notwithstanding cannot be 
denominated the cause of those events. So do we unjustly 
assign the power of action even unto time itself, nor do they 
speak properly who say that time consumeth all things ; for 
time is not effective, nor are bodies destroyed by it, but from 
the action and passion of their elements in it ; whose account 
it only affordeth, and measuring out their motion informs us 
in the periods and terms of their duration, rather than eflfect- 
eth or physically produceth the same. 

A second consideration, which promoteth this opinion, are 
confirmations drawn from writers who have made observa- 
tions, or set down favourable reasons for this climacterical 
year ; so have Henricus Ranzovius,* Baptista Codronchus, f 
and Levinus Lemnius J much confirmed the same ; but above 
all, that memorable letter of Augustus sent unto his nephew 
Caius, wherein he encourageth him to celebrate his nativity, 
for he had now escaped sixty-three, the great climacterical 
and dangerous year unto man. Which notwithstanding, 
rightly perpended, it can be no singularity to question it, nor 
any new paradox to deny it. 

* De Annis Climactericis. f De Occultis Nalura Miraculis. 

% Bel. lib. v. 

containing too many names for the narra- where six generations are omitted at 

tor's purpose. In order to make it equal once. Nor does the literal incorrectness 

to the others, he may therefore be sup- of the phrase " Joram begat Ozias," af- 

posed to have adopted the direct expedi- ford a valid objection : this term being 

ent of omitting the three names in ques- applied not only to immediate, but to 

tion. Of which practice he had several more remote, descendants. See Jer. 

examples, to justify him, in the Jewish xxxix. 
Scriptures, particularly in Ezra, vii, 2 ; 


For first, it is implicitly, and upon consequence denied by 
Aristotle in his Politicks, in that discourse against Plato, who 
measured the vicissitude and mutation of states, by a periodi- 
cal fatality of number. Ptloemy, that famous mathematician, 
plainly saith, he will not deliver his doctrines by parts and 
numbers, which are ineffectual, and have not the nature of 
causes. Now by these numbers, saith Rhodiginus and Mi- 
randula, he implieth climacterical years, that is, septenaries 
and novenaries set down by the bare observation of numbers. 
Censorinus, an author of great authority and sufficient anti- 
quity, speaks yet more amply in his book, De die Natali, 
wherein, expressly treating of climacterical days, he thus de- 
livereth himself: — "Some maintain that seven times seven, 
that is forty-nine, is most dangerous of any other, and this is 
the most general opinion : others unto seven times seven add 
nine times nine, that is, the year of eighty-one, both which, 
consisting of square and quadrate numbers, were thought by 
Plato and others to be of great consideration : as for this 
year of sixty-three, or seven times nine, though some esteem 
it of most danger, yet do I conceive it less dangerous than the 
other; for though it containeth both numbers above named, 
that is, seven and nine, yet neither of them square or quad- 
rate ; and as it is different from them both, so is it not potent 
in either." Nor is this year remarkable in the death of many 
famous men. I find indeed, that Aristotle died this year ; 
but he, by the vigour of his mind, a long time sustained a 
natural infirmity of stomach ; so that it was a greater wonder 
he attained unto sixty-three, than that he lived no longer. 
The psalm of Moses hath mentioned a year of danger differ- 
ing from all these ; and that is, ten times seven or seventy ; 
for so it is said, the days of man are threescore and ten. T 
And the very same is affirmed by Solon, as Herodotus relates 
in a speech of his unto Crcesus, Ego annis septuaginta hn- 
mancc vita? modum definio : and surely that year must be of 
greatest danger which is the period of all the rest ; and few- 
est safely pass through that which is set as a bound for few 
or none to pass. And therefore, the consent of elder times 
settling their conceits upon climacters, not only differing from 

7 The psalm of Moses, Sfc.~] Psalm xc. 


this of ours, but one another, though several nations and ages 
do fancy unto themselves different years of danger, yet every 
one expects the same event, and constant verity in each. 

Again, though Varro divided the days of man into five por- 
tions, Hippocrates into seven, 8 and Solon into ten, yet pro- 
bably their divisions were to be received with latitude, and 
their considerations not strictly to be confined unto their last 
unities. So when Varro extendeth Pueritia unto fifteen, 
Adolescentla unto thirty, Juvenilis unto thirty-five, there is a 
latitude between the terms or periods of compute, and the 
verity holds good in the accidents of any years between them. 
So when Hippocrates divideth our life into seven degrees or 
stages, and maketh the end of the first seven, of the second 
fourteen, of the third twenty-eight, of the fourth thirty-five, 
of the fifth forty-seven, of the sixth fifty-six, and of the 
seventh, the last year, whenever it happeneth ; herein we 
may observe, he maketh not his divisions precisely by seven 
and nine, and omits the great climacterical : beside there is 
between every one at least the latitude of seven years, in 
which space or interval, that is either in the third or fourth 
year, whatever falleth out is equally verified of the whole 
degree, as though it had happened in the seventh. Solon 
divided it into ten septenaries, because in every one thereof, 
a man received some sensible mutation ; in the first is deden- 
tition or falling of teeth, in the second pubescence, in the 
third the beard groweth, in the fourth strength prevails, in 
the fifth maturity for issue, in the sixth moderation of appe- 
tite, in the seventh prudence, &c, Now herein there is a 
tolerable latitude, and though the division proceed by seven, 
yet is not the total verity to be restrained unto the last year, 
nor constantly to be expected the beard should be complete 
at twenty-one, or wisdom acquired just in forty-nine ; and 
thus also, though seven times nine contain one of those 
septenaries, and doth also happen in our declining years, 

8 Hippocrates into seven.~\ Proclus to 22 ; fourth, young manhood, to 42 ; 

also divided them into seven ages, each fifth, mature manhood, to 56; sixth, old 

supposed to be under distinct planetary age, to 68 ; seventh, decrepit age, to 88. 

influence. The first four years he called All beyond that age he considers to be a 

the age of infancy ; the second childhood, second infancy, 
to 14 ; third, adolescence or youthhood, 


yet might the events thereof be imputed unto the whole 
septenary, and be more reasonably entertained with some 
latitude, than strictly reduced unto the last number, or all 
the accidents from fifty-six imputed unto sixty-three. 

Thirdly, although this opinion may seem confirmed by ob- 
servation, and men may say it hath been so observed, yet we 
speak also upon experience, and do believe that men from 
observation will collect no satisfaction. That other years 
may be taken against it, especially if they have the advantage 
to proceed it, as sixty against sixty-three, and sixty-three 
against sixty-six. For fewer attain to the latter than the 
former, and so surely in the first septenary do most die, and 
probably also in the very first year, for all that ever lived 
were in the account of that year, beside the infirmities that 
attend it are so many, and the body that receives them so 
tender and inconfirmed, we scarce count any alive that is not 
past it. 

Fabritius Paduanius,* discoursing of the great climacterical, 
attempts a numeration of eminent men who died in that year, 
but in so small a number as not sufficient to make a con- 
siderable induction. He mentioneth but four, Diogenes Cyni- 
cus, Dionysius Heracleoticus, Xenocrates Platonicus, and 
Plato. As for Dionysius, as Censorinus witnesseth, he 
famished himself in the eighty-second year of his life ; Xeno- 
crates, by the testimony of Laertius, fell into a cauldron, and 
died the same year, and Diogenes the cynick, by the same 
testimony, lived almost unto ninety. The date of Plato's death 
is not exactly agreed on, but all dissent from this which he 
determineth. Neanthes, in Laertius, extendeth his days unto 
eighty-four, Suidas unto eighty-two, but Hermippus defineth 
his death in eighty-one ; and this account seemeth most 
exact, for if, as he delivereth, Plato was born in the eighty- 
eighth olympiad, and died in the first year of the 108th, the 
account will not surpass the year of eighty-one, and so in 
his death he verified the opinion of his life, and of the life of 
man, whose period, as Censorinus recordeth, he placeth in 
the quadrate of nine, or nine times nine, that is, eighty-one ; 

* De catena temporis. 


and therefore, as Seneca delivereth, the magicians, at Athens, 
did sacrifice unto him, as declaring in his death somewhat 
above humanity, because he died in the day of his nativity, 
and without deduction justly accomplished the year of eighty- 
one. Bodine,'*' I confess, delivers a larger list of men that 
died in this year ,• Moriuntur innumerabiles anno sexagesimo 
tertio, Aristotle s, Chrysippus, Bocatius, Bernardus, Erasmus, 
Lutherus, MelanctJwn, Sylvius, Alexander, Jacobus Stur- 
mius, Nicolaus Cusanus, Thomas Linacer, eodem anno Cicero 
ecesus est. Wherein, beside that it were not difficult to make 
a larger catalogue of memorable persons that died in other 
years, we cannot but doubt the verity of his induction. As 
for Sylvius and Alexander, which of that name he meaneth 
I know not, but for Chrysippus, by the testimony of Laertius, 
he died in the 73rd year, Bocatius in the 62nd, Linacer the 
64th, and Erasmus exceeded 70, as Paulus Jovius hath 
delivered in his elegy of learned men ; and as for Cicero, as 
Plutarch in his life affirmeth, he was slain in the year of 64, 
and therefore sure the question is hard set, and we have no 
easy 9 reason to doubt, when great and entire authors shall 
introduce injustifiable examples, and authorize their asser- 
tions by what is not authentical. 

Fourthly, they which proceed upon strict numerations, and 
will by such regular and determined ways measure out the 
lives of men, and periodically define the alterations of their 
tempers, conceive a regularity in mutations, with an equality 
in constitutions, and forget that variety which physicians 
therein discover ; for seeing we affirm that women do naturally 
grow old before men, that the cholerick fall short in longevity 
of the sanguine, that there is senium ante senectum, and many 
grow old before they arrive at age, we cannot affix unto them 
all one common point of danger, but should rather assign 
a respective fatality unto each : which is concordant unto 
the doctrine of the numerist, and such as maintain this 
opinion, for they affirm that one number respecteth men, 
another women ; as Bodin, explaining that of Seneca, Sep- 

* Method. His. 
9 easy."] Small, — IVr. 


timus quisque anmis cetati signum imprimit, subjoins, hoc de 
maribus dictum oportuit, hoc primum intueri licet, perfectum 
numerum, id est, sextum fceminas, septenarium mares immu- 

Fifthly, since we esteem this opinion to have some ground 
in nature, and that nine times seven revolutions of the sun 
imprint a dangerous character on such as arrive unto it, it 
will leave some doubt behind, in what subjection hereunto 
were the lives of our forefathers presently after the flood, 
and more especially before it, who, attaining unto 8 or 900 
years, had not their climacters computable by digits, or as 
we do account them, for the great climacterical was past 
unto them before they begat children, or gave any testimony 
of their virility, for we read not that any begat children before 
the age of sixty-five. 1 And this may also afford a hint to 
enquire what are the climacters of other animated creatures, 
whereof the life of some attains not so far as this of ours, 
and that of others extends a considerable space beyond it. 

Lastly, the imperfect accounts that men have kept of time, 
and the difference thereof, both in the same and diverse com- 
monwealths, will much distract the certainty of this assertion. 
For though there were a fatality in this year, yet divers 
were, and others might be, out in their account, aberring 
several ways from the true and just compute ; and calling 
that one year which perhaps might be another. 

For first, they might be out in the commencement or be- 
ginning of their account ; for every man is many months elder 
than he computeth. For although we begin the same from 

1 not that any, §"c] This is true years after the reation, thereby justly 

of all the patriarchs before the flood, reproaching the incont'mency of after 

whose long life needed noe hastening ages, not only for their precipitation, 

of progenye; the delay whereof might but the lustfull desire of change without 

be a concurrent cause of their longas- sufficient cause, viz. the adultery of the 

vitye. For doubtless such as was their wife, whose life being taking off by the 

longocvitye, such in proportion wee must law, lefte the man free to marrye againe. 

think their strengthe, and such the de- That therefore we read not of the anti- 

grees by wbich they grew unto itt. To diluvian fathers begetting children before 

the forbearance from manage we may 05 is true of all ; for Lamech begat not 

add their detestation of polygamye, to Noah till his lS2nd yeare. But after 

which doubtless our Saviour gives that the flood, to repeople the world, all the 

testimony. — Matth. xx, S. From the patriarchs till Terah begat children before 

beginninge itt was not soe, that is, no 35, which is but halfe of the former time 

one of the patriarchs used polygamy till of 65 yearcs. — Wr. 
Lamech, the 9th from Adam, almost 900 


our nativity, and conceive that no arbitrary, but natural term 
of compute, yet for the duration of life or existence, we are 
liable in the womb unto the usual distinctions of time, and 
are not to be exempted from the account of age and life, 
where we are subject to diseases, and often suffer death. 
And therefore Pythagoras, Hippocrates, Diodes, Avicenna, 
and others, have set upon us numeral relations and temporal 
considerations in the womb ; not only affirming the birth of 
the seventh month to be vital, that of the eighth mortal, but 
the progression thereto to be measured by rule, and to hold 
a proportion unto motion and formation. As what receiveth 
motion in the seventh, to be perfected in triplicities ; that is, 
the time of conformation unto motion is double, and that 
from motion unto the birth, treble ; so what is formed the 
thirty-fifth day, is moved the seventieth, and born the two 
hundred and tenth day. And therefore if any invisible cau- 
sality there be, that after so many years doth evidence itself 
at sixty-three, it will be questionable whether its activity only 
set out at our nativity, and begin not rather in the womb, 
wherein we place the like considerations. Which doth not 
only entangle this assertion, but hath already embroiled the 
endeavours of astrology in the erection of schemes, and the 
judgment of death or diseases ; for being not incontrolably 
determined at what time to begin, whether at conception, 
animation, or exclusion, (it being indifferent unto the influ- 
ence of heaven to begin at either,) they have invented another 
way, that is, to begin ab hora qucsstionis, as Haly, Messahal- 
lach, Ganivetus, and Guido Bonatus, have delivered. 

Again, in regard of the measure of time by months and 
years, there will be no small difficulty ; and if we shall strictly 
consider it, many have been and still may be, mistaken. For 
neither the motion of the moon, whereby months are comput- 
ed, nor of the sun, whereby years are accounted, consisteth 
of whole numbers, but admits of fractions and broken parts, 
as we have already declared concerning the moon. That of 
the sun consisteth of three hundred and sixty-five days, and 
almost six hours, that is, wanting eleven minutes ; which six 
hours, omitted, or not taken notice of, will, in process of time, 
largely deprave the compute ; and this is the occasion of the 


bissextile or leap-year, which was not observed in all times, 
nor punctually in all commonwealths; so that in sixty-three 
years there may be lost almost eighteen days, omitting the 
intercalation of one day every fourth year, allowed for this 
quadrant, or six hours supernumerary. And though the 
same were observed, yet to speak strictly, a man may be 
somewhat out in the account of his age at sixty-three ; for 
although every fourth year we insert one day, and so fetch 
up the quadrant, yet those eleven minutes whereby the year 
comes short of perfect six hours will, in the circuit of those 
years, arise unto certain hours, and in a larger progression of 
time unto certain days. Whereof at present we find experi- 
ence in the calendar we observe. For the Julian year of 
three hundred and sixty-five days being eleven minutes larger 
than the annual revolution of the sun, there will arise an an- 
ticipation in the equinoxes ; and as Junctinus computeth,* " 
in every 136th year they will anticipate almost one day. And 
therefore those ancient men and Nestors of old times, which 
yearly observed their nativities, might be mistaken in the day ; 
nor is that to be construed without a grain of salt, which is 

* Comment, in Sphmram Job. de Sacro Bosco. 

2 as Junctinus computeth.'] See a short The following is the "discussion" 
but an exact discussion of this in Calce at the end of the dean's copy, but it seems 
Libri, and Junctinus his error. — Wr. more appropriate to place it here. — Ed. 

C Maxima. . . . 365d. 5h. 56' 57" nunquam assurgit ad 57'. 
Quantitas j Minima 365 5 44 38 nunquam deficit ad 44'. 

anni 1 Media, sen / 3(J5 4Q alii addunt 15' 46". 

(_ communis y 

Cum igitur annus Julianus supponatur, correcto kalendario ad Christum natum, 

superaddere quotannis 10' 48", necesse sc. 44, fiunt anni 1696 : in quibus la- 

est, ut quolibet bissexto, sequinoctia re- bemus quater 3 dies, et quae excurrunt 

trocedant in diebus Julianis 43' et 12" 96 dierum minuta: sc. 17' et 26", Per 

adeo ut in 134 annis, retrocedant 24h. utrumque calculum, si 33us quilibet bis- 

6' 52" et in 1644 (post Christum) annis sextus abjiciatur, manebunt sequinoctia 

12d. 7h. 52' 22". Ita a correcto kalen- in sedibus suis in futurum. Sed 12 dies 

dario, (44 annis ante c. n.) ad annum qui ex eo excessu creverunt, optime et 

presentem, 1652, retrocesserunt 1 2d. sine tumuitu eximentur e mensibus di- 

17h. 1 3' 22''. Supine igitur numeravit erum (31) duplus annis sequentibns ; 

author e Junctino : in annis 136, retro- sc. ex Martio, Maio, Julio, Augusto, Oc- 

cedere sequinoctia, diem integrum fere, tobri ct Decembri ; et sic duae anni me- 

cum p raster integrum diem, colligantur dictates facient paria fere. Nam com- 

totidem annis lh. 26'' 24". Alphonsini munibus annis currunt ab sequinoctio 

dicunt in 400 annis sequinoctia retroce- verno ad autumnale 186d. Sh. 8' ab 

dere 3 dies fere, quod proxime accedit autumnali ad vernum, 178d. 21h. 47'. 

ad priorem calculum, si num addas (ad — Wr. 
annos Christi elapsos sc. 1652,) annus a 


delivered by Moses: 3 "At the end of lour hundred years, 
even the self-same day, all the host of Israel went out of the 
land of Egypt." For in that space of time the equinoxes 
had anticipated, and the eleven minutes had amounted far 
above a day. And this compute rightly considered will fall 
fouler on them who cast up the lives of kingdoms, and sum 
up their duration by particular numbers ; as Plato first began , 
and some have endeavoured since by perfect and spherical num- 
bers, by the square and cube of seven, and nine, and twelve, 
the great number of Plato. Wherein indeed Bodine * hath 
attempted a particular enumeration ; but (beside the mistakes 
committable in the solary compute of years,) the difference 
of chronology disturbs the satisfaction and quiet of his com- 
putes; some adding, others detracting, and few punctually 
according in any one year; whereby indeed such accounts 
should be made up, for the variation in an unit destroys the 
total illation. 

Thirdly, the compute may be unjust, not only in a strict 
acception, of few days or hours, but in the latitude also of 
some years ; and this may happen from the different com- 
pute of years in divers nations, and even such as did main- 
tain the most probable way of account : their year being not 
only different from one another, but the civil and common ac- 
count disagreeing much from the natural year, whereon the 
consideration is founded. Thus from the testimony of Herod- 
otus, Censorinus, and others, the Greeks observed the lunary 
year, that is, twelve revolutions of the moon, 354 days ; 
but the Egyptians, and many others, adhered unto the 
solary account, that is, 365 days, that is, eleven days longer. 
Now hereby the account of the one would very much exceed 
the other : a man in the one would account himself sixty- 
three, when one in the other would think himself but sixty- 

* Matt. Histor. 

3 which is delivered by Moses.~] Moses that yeare in their accompts : by which 

accounted by the old ^Egyptian yeare, they measure the Julian yeares. Soe 

wherein he was most skilfull : and the then, his mention of the Julian excesse 

^Egyptian yeare was a yeare of days f 11 minutes yearlye is airgocthiovvGov. 

without any intercalation. Soe that the F or Moses did not use the Julian yeare, 

head of the yeare was vagrant, but the which had its original from the ^Egyp- 

accompt of dayes most exact, insomuch t j an veares 1454 yeares after — Wr. 
that the best astronomers to this day use 



one ; and so, although their nativities were under the same 
hour, yet did they at different years believe the verity of that 
which both esteemed affixed and certain unto one. The 
like mistake there is in a tradition of our days ; men con- 
ceiving a peculiar danger in the beginning days of May, set 
out as a fatal period unto consumptions and chronical dis- 
eases ; wherein, notwithstanding, we compute by calendars 
not only different from our ancestors but one another, the 
compute of the one anticipating that of the other ; so that 
while we are in April, others begin May, and the danger is 
past unto one, while it beginneth with another. 

Fourthly, men were not only out in the number of some 
days, the latitude of a few years, but might be wide by 
whole olympiads and divers decads of years. For as Cen- 
sorinus relateth, the ancient Arcadians observed a year of 
three months, the Carians of six, the Iberians of four ; and 
as Diodorus and Xenophon de JEqidvocis allege, the 
ancient Egyptians have used a year of three, two, and one 
month : so that the climacterical was not only different unto 
those nations, but unreasonably distant from ours ; for sixty- 
three will pass in their account, before they arrive so high 
as ten in ours. 

Nor, if we survey the account of Rome itself, may we 
doubt they were mistaken, and if they feared climacterical 
years, might err in their numeration. For the civil year, 
whereof the people took notice, did sometimes come short, 
and sometimes exceed the natural. For according to Varro, 
Suetonius, and Censorinus, their year consisted first of ten 
months; which comprehend but 304 days, that is, sixty-one 
less than ours containeth ; after by Numa or Tarquin, from 
a superstitious conceit of imparity, were added fifty-one days, 
which made 355, one day more than twelve revolutions of the 
moon. And thus a long time it continued, the civil compute 
exceeding the natural; the correction whereof, and the due 
ordering of the leap-year was referred unto the Pontifices ; 
who either upon favour or malice, that some might continue 
their offices a longer or shorter time, or from the magnitude 
of the year, that men might be advantaged, or endamaged in 
their contracts, by arbitrary intercalations, depraved the 


whole account. Of this abuse Cicero accused Verres, which 
at last proceeded so far, that when Julius Caesar came unto 
that office, before the redress hereof he was fain to insert 
two intercalary months unto November and December, when 
he had already inserted twenty-three days unto February ; 
so that the year consisted of 445 days ; a quarter of a year 
longer than that we observed ; and though at the last the 
year was reformed, yet in the mean time they might be out 
wherein they summed up climacterical observations. 

Lastly, one way more there may be of mistake, and that 
not unusual among us, grounded upon a double compute of 
the year ; the one beginning from the 25th of March, the 
other from the day of our birth, unto the same again, which 
is the natural account. Now hereupon many men frequent- 
ly miscast their days ; for in their age they deduce the ac- 
count not from the day of their birth, but the year of our 
Lord, wherein they were born. So a man that was born in 
January, 1582, if he live to fall sick in the latter end of 
March, 1645, will sum up his age, and say I am now sixty 
three, and in my climacterical and dangerous year ; for I was 
born in the year 1582, and now it is 1645, whereas indeed he 
wanteth many months of that year, considering the true and 
natural account unto his birth ; and accounteth two months 
for a year : and though the length of time and accumulation 
of years do render the mistake insensible ; yet is it all one, 
as if one born in January, 1644, should be accounted a year 
old the 25th of March, 1645. 4 

All which perpended, it may be easily perceived with what 
insecurity of truth we adhere unto this opinion ; ascribing 
not only effects depending on the natural period of time, 
unto arbitary calculations, and such as vary at pleasure ; but 
confirming our tenets by the uncertain account of others and 
ourselves, there being no positive or indisputable ground 
where to begin our compute. That if there were, men have 
been several ways mistaken ; the best in some latitude, others 

4 shall be accounted a year old, §•«.] does it sound, to assert that on the 

Whereas, if born on the first of January, 24th of March, 1645, he would be a 

1 644, he would be only 85 days old on year older than on the 25th March of 

the 25th of March, that being the first the same year, 
day of the year 1645 : still more strange 

F 2 


in greater, according to the different compute of divers 
states, the short and irreconcileable years of some, the ex- 
ceeding error in the natural frame of others, and the lapses 
and false deductions of ordinary accountants in most. 

Which duly considered, together with a strict account and 
critical examen of reason, will also distract the witty deter- 
minations of astrology. That Saturn, the enemy of life, 
comes almost every seventh year, unto the quadrate or 
malevolent place ; that as the moon about every seventh day 
arriveth unto a contrary sign, so Saturn, which remaineth 
about as many years as the moon doth days in one sign, and 
holdeth the same consideration in years as the moon in days, 
doth cause these periculous periods. Which together with 
other planets, and profection of the horoscope, unto the 
seventh house, or opposite signs every seventh year, oppres- 
seth living natures, and causeth observable mutations in the 
state of sublunary things. 

Further satisfaction may yet be had from the learned dis- 
course of Salmasius * lately published, if any desire to be 
informed how different the present observations are from 
those of the ancients ; how every one hath different cli- 
mactericals; with many other observables, impugning the 
present opinion. 5 

* De Annis Climactericis. 

5 which duly, 8fC.~\ The two conclu- opportunity to avail myself of them, 

ding paragraphs were added in 2nd See Pluche i, 266. — Vid. J. F. Ringel- 

edition. bergii Lucubrationes de Annis Climac- 

I subjoin several references here trans- tericis, p. 548. — Concerning an " odd 

cribed from a copy belonging to my late number," see Stopford's Pagana-Papis- 

friend Rev. Jos. Jefferson ; which may be mus, p. 262. — Jeff. 
useful to others, though I have not had 



Of the Canicular or Dog-days. 

Whereof to speak distinctly. — Among the southern con- 
stellations, two there are which bear the name of the dog ; 
the one in sixteen degrees of latitude, containing on the left 
thigh a star of the first magnitude, usually called Procyon or 
Anticanis, because say some it riseth before the other ; which 
if truly understood, must be restrained unto those habita- 
tions, who have elevation of pole above thirty-two degrees. 
Mention thereof there is in Horace,* who seems to mistake 
or confound the one with the other ; and after him in Galen, 
who is willing the remarkablest star of the other should be 
called by this name ; because it is the first that ariseth in the 
constellation ; which notwithstanding, to speak strictly, it is 
not ; unless we except one of the third magnitude in the 
right paw, in his own and our elevation, and two more on his 
head in and beyond the degree of sixty. A second and 
more considerable one there is, and neighbour unto the 
other, in forty degrees of latitude, containing eighteen stars, 
whereof that in his mouth, of the first magnitude, the Greeks 
call Ityoc,, the Latins canis major, and we emphatically the 

Now from the rising of this star, not cosmically, that is, 
with the sun, but heliacally, that is, its emersion from the 
rays of the sun, the ancients computed their canicular days ; 
concerning which, there generally passeth an opinion, that 
during those days all medication or use of physick is to be 
declined, and the cure committed unto nature. And there- 
fore as though there were any feriation 6 in nature or justi- 
tinms 7 imaginable in professions, whose subject is natural, and 

* Jam Procyon fuerit et stella vesani Leonis. 
6 feriation.~] Vacations. 7 justitiums.'} Probably, statute laws. 


under no intermissive, but constant way of mutation, this season 
is commonly termed the physician's vacation, and stands so 
received by most men. Which conceit, however general, 
is not only erroneous but unnatural, and, subsisting upon 
foundations either false, uncertain, mistaken, or misapplied, 
deserves not of mankind that indubitable assent it findeth. 8 

For first, which seems to be the ground of this assertion, 
and not to be drawn into question, that is, the magnified 
quality of this star, conceived to cause or intend the heat of 
this season, whereby these days become more observable 
than the rest, we find that wiser antiquity was not of this 
opinion. For, seventeen hundred years ago it was a vulgar er- 
ror rejected by Geminus, a learned mathematician, in his ele- 
ments of astronomy, wherein he plainly affirmeth, that com- 
mon opinion made that a cause, which was at first observed 
but as a sign ; the rising and setting both of this star and 
others being observed by the ancients, to denote and testify 
certain points of mutation, rather than conceived to induce 
or effect the same. For our fore-fathers, saith he, observing 
the course of the sun, and marking certain mutations to hap- 
pen in his progress through particular parts of the zodiack, 
they registered and set them down in their parapegmes, or 
astronomical canons ; and being not able to design these 
times by days, months, or years, (the compute thereof, and the 
beginning of the year being different, according unto dif- 
ferent nations,) they thought best to settle a general account 
unto all, and to determine these alterations by some known 
and invariable signs ; and such did they conceive the rising 
and setting of the fixed stars ; not ascribing thereto any part 
of causality, but notice and signification. And thus much 
seems implied in that expression of Homer, when speaking 
of the dog-star he concludeth, xanfo ds n <j%mj rsrw.rai, Malum 

8 there generally passelh, «.yc] In the from the concluding paragraph of this 

present day, it is difficult to believe that chapter. Nor is his estimate of the evil 

so absurd a position could have obtained resulting from such a "vulgar error in 

general credence, even among the igno- practice " less forcibly proved by the 

rant, much more that it could have exer- pains, ingenuity, and labour, with which 

cised any influence on medical science, he attacks it, and from the great length 

Yet that Sir Thomas knew it to have to which his very judicious investigation 

that influence in his day, is evident not of the subject is here carried, 
only from the present, but especially 


autem signum est; the same, as Petavius observeth, is im- 
plied in the word of Ptolemy, and the ancients, tfsg< siTKtripuii&Vi 
that is, of the signification of stars. The term of Scripture 
also favours it ; as that of Isaiah, Nolite timere a signis caeli 
and that in Genesis, ut sint hi signa et tempora, let there be 
lights in the firmament, and let them be for signs and 
for seasons. 

The primitive and leading magnifiers of this star were the 
Egyptians, the great admirers of dogs in earth and heaven ; 
wherein they worshipped Anubis or Mercurius, the scribe of 
Saturn, and counsellor of Osyris, the great inventor of their 
religious rites, and promoter of good unto Egypt, who was 
therefore translated into this star ; by the Egyptians called 
Sothis, and Siris by the Ethiopians, from whence that Sirius 
or the dog-star had its name is by some conjectured. 9 

And this they looked upon, not with reference unto heat, 
but celestial influence upon the faculties of man, in order to 
religion and all sagacious invention, and from hence derived 
the abundance and great fertility of Egypt, the overflow of 
Nilus happening about the ascent hereof; and therefore, in 
hieroglyphical monuments, Anubis is described with a dog's 
head, with a crocodile between his legs, with a sphere in his 
hand, with two stars, and a water-pot standing by him, im- 
plying thereby the rising and setting of the dog-star, and the 
inundation of the river Nilus. 

But if all were silent, Galen hath explained this point unto 
the life ; who expounding the reason why Hippocrates de- 
clared the affections of the year by the rising and setting of 
stars ; it was, saith he, because he would proceed on signs 
and principles best known unto all nations ; and upon his 
words in the first of the epidemicks, In Thaso autummo 
circa equinoctium et sub virgilias pluvice erant multce, he 
thus enlargeth. If, saith he, the same compute of times and 
months were observed by all nations, Hippocrates had never 
made any mention either of arcturus, pleiades, or the dog- 
star, but would have plainly said, in Macedonia, in the month 

9 The primitive, ^c] This paragraph paragraph was added in the 3rd edition, 
was added in 2nd edition; the next 


Dion, 1 thus or thus was the air disposed. But for as much as 
the month Dion is only known unto the Macedonians, but ob- 
scure unto the Athenians and other nations, he found more 
general distinctions of time, and instead of naming months, 
would usually say, at the equinox, the rising of the pleiades, 
or the dog-star ; and by this way did the ancients divide the 
seasons of the year, the autumn, winter, spring, and summer. 
By the rising of the pleiades denoting the beginning of sum- 
mer, and by that of the dog-star the declination thereof. By 
this way Aristotle, through all his books of animals, dis- 
tinguished their times of generation, latitancy, migration, 
sanity, and venation ; and this were an allowable way of com- 
pute, and still to be retained, were the site of the stars as 
inalterable, and their ascents as invariable, as primitive as- 
tronomy conceived them ; and therefore though Aristotle 
frequently mentioneth this star, and particularly affirmeth 
that fishes in the Bosphorus are best catched from the arise 
of the dog-star, we must not conceive the same a mere effect 
thereof; nor though Scaliger from hence be willing to infer 
the efficacy of this star, are we induced hereto, except (be- 
cause the same philosopher affirmeth, that tunny is fat about 
the rising of the pleiades, and departs upon arcturns, or that 
most insects are latent from the setting of the seven stars,) 
except, I say, he give us also leave to infer that these par- 
ticular effects and alterations proceed from those stars, which 
were indeed but designations of such quarters and portions 
of the year, wherein the same were observed. Now what 
Pliny affirmeth of the orix, that it seemeth to adore this star, 
and taketh notice thereof by voice and sternutation, until we 
be better assured of its verity, we shall not salve the sympathy. 
Secondly, what slender opinion the ancients held of the 
efficacy of this star, is declarable from their compute ; for as 
Geminus affirmeth, and Petavius, his learned commentator, 
proveth, they began their account from its heliacal emersion, 
and not its cosmical ascent. The cosmical ascension of a 
star we term that, when it ariseth together with the sun, or 
the same degree of the ecliptick wherein the sun abideth ; 

i Dion.'] Id is Dius, tiol Dion — ,Wr. 


and that the heliacal, when a star which before for the vicinity 
of the sun, was not visible, being further removed, beginneth 
to appear. For the annual motion of the sun from west to 
east being far swifter than that of the fixed stars, he must of 
necessity leave them on the east while he hasteneth forward, 
and obscureth others to the west, and so the moon which 
performs its motion swifter than the sun, (as may be observed 
in their conjunctions and eclipses,) gets eastward out of his 
rays, and appears when the sun is set. 2 If therefore the 
dog-star had this effectual heat which is ascribed unto it, it 
would afford best evidence thereof, and the season would be 
most fervent, when it ariseth in the probablest place of its 
activity, that is, the cosmical ascent ; for therein it ariseth 
with the sun, and is included in the same irradiation. But 
the time observed by the ancients was long after this ascent, 
and in the heliacal emersion, when it becomes at greatest 
distance from the sun, neither rising with it nor near it ; and 
therefore had they conceived any more than a bare signality 
in this star, or ascribed the heat of the season thereunto, 
they would not have computed from its heliacal ascent, 
which was of inferior efficacy ; nor imputed the vehemency of 
heat unto those points wherein it was more remiss, and where 
with less probability they might make out its action. 

Thirdly, although we derive the authority of these days 
from observations of the ancients, yet are our computes very 
different, and such as confirm not each other. For whereas 
they observed it heliacally, we seem to observe it CDsmically, 
for before it ariseth heliacally unto our latitude, the summer 
is even at an end. Again, we compute not only from different 
ascents, but also from diverse stars ; they from the greater 
dog-star, we from the lesser ; 3 they from Orion's, we from 

2 the moon, 8;c.~] This is obscurely 3 the lesser, 8fC.~\ The observation of 

sayde. Nor though the moon gets east- the dog-star's rising came from the 

ward of the sonne, i. e. to speak pro- ./Egyptians at Alexandria, lying under 

perly, appears on the east from the new .30 degrees, where when the sun comes 

to the full, yet from the full to the new to the tropicks in the [....] degree of 

shee appeares west of him, which is Cancer, both the dog-stars rise with hirr 

nothing else but that going throughe the together, begin to increase the heate, 

twelve times for his once, she must of which afterwards the sun coming towards 

necessity seeme sometimes eastward of Leo doubles, soe that they esteeme not 

him, and sometimes west, according to of that heate from the dog-star's rise 

the diurnal motion. — Wr. alone, but from their conjoynt rising 


Cephalus's dog ; they from Sirius, we from Crocyon ; for 
the beginning of the dog-days with us is set down the 19th 
of July, about which time the lesser dog-star ariseth with the 
sun, whereas the star of the greater dog ascendeth not until 
after that month. And this mistake will yet be larger, if 
the compute be made stricter, and as Dr. Bainbrigge, * late 
professor of astronomy in Oxford, hath set it down, who in 
the year 1629 computed, that in the horizon of Oxford, the 
dog-star arose not before the fifteenth day of August, when 
in our almanack accounts those days are almost ended. So 
that the common and received time not answering the true 
compute, it frustrates the observations of ourselves; and 
being also different from the calculations of the ancients, their 
observations confirm not ours, nor ours theirs, but rather 
confute each other. 

Nor will the computes of the ancients be so authentic unto 
those who shall take notice how commonly they applied the 
celestial descriptions of other climes unto their own, wherein 
the learned Bainbrigius justly reprehendeth Manilius, who 
transferred the Egyptian descriptions unto the Roman ac- 
count, confounding the observation of the Greek and Bar- 
barick spheres. 4 

Fourthly, (which is the argument of Geminus,) were there 
any such effectual heat in this star, yet could it but weakly 
evidence the same in summer, it being about 40 degrees 
distance from the sun, and should rather manifest its warming 
power in the winter, when it remains conjoined with the sun 
in its hybernal conversion. For about the 29th of October, 
and in the 16th of Scorpius, and so again in January, the 
sun performs his revolution in the same parallel with the 
dog-star. Again, if we should impute the heat of this season 
unto the co-operation of any stars with the sun, it seems 
more favourable for our times to ascribe the same unto the 

* Bainb. Canicularis- 

with the sun in Leo. But the principall rising of the dog-star. — Wr. 

observation of the dog-star rising was 4 And this mistake, §c.~\ The con- 

from the course of their yeare, which elusion of this paragraph, with the next, 

they therefore cald "Ero$ zwikov, as were first added in 3rd edition, 
beginning always from the first cosmical 


constellation of Leo. Where besides that the sun is in his 
proper house, it is conjoined with many stars, whereof two 
of the first magnitude, and in the 8th of August is corporally 
conjoined with Basiliscus, a star of eminent name in astrology, 
and seated almost in the ecliptick. 

Fifthly, if all were granted, that observation and reason 
were also for it, and were it an undeniable truth that an 
effectual fervour proceedeth from this star, yet would not 
the same determine the opinion now in question, it necessarily 
suffering such restrictions as to take off general illations. 
For first, in regard of different latitudes, unto some the cani- 
cular days are in the winter ; as unto such as have no latitude, 
but live in a right sphere, that is, under the equinoctial line, 
for unto them it ariseth when the sun is about the tropick of 
Cancer, which season unto them is winter, 5 and the sun re- 
motest from them. Nor hath the same position in the sum- 
mer, that is, in the equinoctial points, any advantage from it, 
for in the one point the sun is at the meridian before the 
dog-star ariseth; in the other the star is at the meridian 
before the sun ascendeth. 

Some latitudes have no canicular days at all ; as namely 
all those which have more than seventy-three degrees of 
northern elevation ; as the territory of Nova Zembla, part of 
Greenland, and Tartary, for unto that habitation the dog-star 
is invisible, and appeareth not above the horizon. 

Unto such latitudes wherein it ariseth, it carrieth a various 
and very different respect: unto some it ascendeth when 
summer is over, whether we compute heliacally or cosmically ; 
for, though unto Alexandria it ariseth in Cancer, yet it ariseth 
not unto Biarmia cosmically before it be in Virgo, and heli- 
acally about the autumnal equinox. Even unto the latitude 
of fifty-two, the efficacy thereof is not much considerable, whe- 
ther we consider its ascent, meridian altitude, or abode above 
the horizon. For it ariseth very late in the year, about the 
eighteenth of Leo, that is, the 31st of July. Of meridian 

5 winter.'] They have two winters, ters the midst of Yf, and by his eccen- 

viz. when the sonne is in either tropick, tricity is nearer to the earth there then 

in which respect yf there be any difference when he is in Cancer. — Wr. 
in the temper, itt is when the sonne en- 


altitude it hath but 23 degrees, so that it plays but obliquely 
upon us, and as the sun doth about the 23rd of January. 
And lastly, his abode above the horizon is not great ; for in 
the eighteenth of Leo, the 31st of July, although they arise 
together, yet doth it set above five hours before the sun, that 
is, before two o'clock, after which time we are more sensible 
of heat than all the day before. 

Secondly, in regard of the variation of the longitude of the 
stars, we are to consider (what the ancients observed not,) 
that the site of the fixed stars is alterable, and that since 
elder times they have suffered a large and considerable vari- 
ation of their longitudes. The longitude of a star, 6 to speak 
plainly, is its distance from the first point of numeration to- 
ward the east ; which first point unto the ancients was the 
vernal equinox. Now by reason of their motion from west 
to east, they have very much varied from this point. The 
first star of Aries, in the time of Meton, the Athenian, was 
placed in the very intersection, which is now elongated and 
removed eastward twenty-eight degrees ; insomuch that now 
the sign of Aries possesseth the place of Taurus, and Taurus 
that of Gemini. Which variation of longitude must very 
much distract the opinion of the dog-star ; 6 not only in oui* 
days, but in times before and after ; for since the world be- 
gan it hath arisen in Taurus, and if the world last, may have 
its ascent in Virgo ; so that we must place the canicular 
days, that is, the hottest time of the year in the spring in the 
first age, and in the autumn in ages to come. 

Thirdly, the stars have not only varied their longitudes, 
whereby their ascents have altered, but have also changed 
their declinations, whereby their rising at all, that is their 
appearing, hath varied. The declination of a star we call its 
distance from the equator. 7 Now though the poles of the 
world and the equator be immoveable, yet because the stars in 
their proper motions from west to east do move upon the 

6 of the dog-star."] Not only of the confounded, and condemned of late by 

dogg-star, but of all the imaginary houses all the learned astronomers : Tycho, plu- 

of ,the astrologers, and consequently all ries ; Kepler, expresly in Comeioe anni 

that heathenish structure of the fortitude, 1618 ; and Longomontany ubique. — Wr. 

detriments, aspects, triciplicityes, and 7 equatnr.~\ Equinoctial, 
such ridiculous stuff, utterly dasht, and 


poles of the ecliptick, distant twenty-three degrees and an 
half from the poles of the equator, and describe circles paral- 
lel not unto the equator, but the ecliptick ; they must be, 
therefore, sometimes nearer, sometimes removed further from 
the equator. All stars that have their distance from the 
ecliptick northward not more than twenty-three degrees and 
an half (which is the greatest distance of the ecliptic from the 
equator) may in progression of time have declination south- 
ward, and move beyond the equator ; but if any star hath 
just this distance of twenty-three and an half (as hath Ca- 
pella on the back of Ericthonius) it may hereafter move un- 
der the equinoctial ; and the same will happen respectively 
unto stars which have declination'southward. And therefore 
many stars may be visible in our hemisphere which are not so 
at present ; and many which are at present, shall take leave 
of our horizon, and appear unto southern habitations. And 
therefore the time may come that the dog-star may not be 
visible in our horizon, and the time hath been when it hath 
not shewed itself unto our neighbour latitudes. So that 
canicular days there have been none, nor shall be ; yet cer- 
tainly in all times some season of the year more notably hot 
than other. 

Lastly, we multiply causes in vain ; and for the reason 
hereof we need not have recourse unto any star but the sun, 
and continuity of its action. For the sun ascending into the 
northern signs, begetteth first a temperate heat in the air ; 
which by his approach unto the solstice he intendeth, and by 
continuation increaseth the same even upon declination. For 
running over 8 the same degrees again, that is, in Leo, which 
he hath done in Taurus, in July which he did in May ; he 
augmenteth the heat in the latter which he began in the first ; 
and easily intendeth the same by continuation which was 
well promoted before. So is it observed, that they which 
dwell between the tropicks and the equator have their se- 
cond summer hotter and more maturative of fruits than the 

8 For running oyer.] In those four they have a continual summer, hottest in 
signes, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, extremis Wr. 


So we observe in the day, 9 (which is a short year, 1 ) the great- 
est heat about two in the afternoon, when the sun is past the 
meridian, (which is his diurnal solstice,) and the same is evi- 
dent from the thermometer or observations of the weather- 
glass. So are the colds of the night sharper in the summer 
about two or three after midnight, and the frosts in winter 
stronger about those hours. So likewise in the year we 
observe the cold to augment, when the days begin to increase, 
though the sun be then ascensive and returning from the 
winter tropick. And therefore if we rest not in this reason for 
the heat in the declining part of summer, we must discover 
freezing stars that may resolve the latter colds of winter ; 
which whoever desires to invent, let him study the stars of 
Andromeda, or the nearer constellation of Pegasus, which 
are about that time ascendant. 

It cannot therefore seem strange, or savour of singularity, 
that we have examined this point, since the same hath been 
already denied by some ; since the authority and observations 
of the ancients, rightly understood, do not confirm it ; since 
our present computes are different from those of the ancients, 
whereon notwithstanding they depend ; since there is reason 
against it, and if all were granted, yet must it be maintained 
with manifold restraints, far otherwise than is received. And 
lastly, since from plain and natural principles the doubt may 
be fairly salved, and not clapt up from petitionary founda- 
tions and principles unestablished. 

But that which chiefly promoted the consideration of these 
days, and medically advanced the same, was the doctrine of 
Hippocrates, a physician of such repute that he received a 
testimony from a Christian that might have been given unto 

9 dayJ] Every day is an emblem of grees north or south : bycause with them 

the yeare ; and therein the sun hath his sommer is twice doubled in 3 months ; 

declination, or distance from the meridi- having the sona twice over their heads 

an, as from the aequalor, his solstice in in that space: whereas they under the 

itt, as in the tropicks; and his different sequator have him twice, but in 6 months 

altitudes or azimuths every moment. — distance, and 2 winters between. For 

Wr. the distance of the son from the center in 

1 short year.] 'T is seemingly strange, his auge at summer is 1210 semidiame- 

but most true, that they who lye be- ters of the earth: but his nearest dis- 

tweene the a:quator and the tropic, have tance is never above 1122, every semi- 

a hotter summer than they that lye un- diameter containing 7159j of our miles, 

der the sequator; suppose under 12 de- — Wr. 


Christ.* The first in his book, De aere, aquis, et locis, syde- 
rum ortu, 8fc. That is, we are to observe the rising of stars, 
especially the dog-star, arcturus, and the setting of the 
pleiades, or seven stars. From whence notwithstanding we 
cannot infer the general efficacy of these stars, or co-efficacy 
particular in medications. Probably expressing no more 
hereby than if he should have plainly said, especial notice we 
are to take of the hottest time in summer, of the beginning of 
autumn and winter; for by the rising and setting of those 
stars were these times and seasons defined. And therefore 
subjoins this reason, quoniam his temporibus morbi Jiniuntur, 
because at these times diseases have their ends, as physicians 
well know, and he elsewhere afnrmeth, that seasons determine 
diseases, beginning in their contraries; as the spring the dis- 
eases of autumn, and the summer those of winter. Now 
(what is very remarkable) whereas in the same place he ad- 
viseth to observe the times of notable mutations, as the equi- 
noxes and the solstices, and to decline medication ten days 
before and after ; how precisely soever canicular cautions be 
considered, this is not observed by physicians, nor taken 
notice of by the people. And indeed should we blindly obey 
the restraints both of physicians and astrologers, we should 
contract the liberty of our prescriptions, and confine the 
utility of physic unto a very few days. For, observing the 
dog-days, and as is expressed, some days before, likewise ten 
days before, and after the equinoctial and solstitial points, 
by this observation alone are exempted an hundred days. 
Whereunto if we add the two Egyptian days in every month, 2 
the interlunary and plenilunary exemptions, the eclipses of 
sun and moon, conjunctions and oppositions plane tical, the 
houses of planets, and the site of the luminaries under the 
signs, (wherein some would induce a restraint of purgation or 
phlebotomy,) there would arise above an hundred more ; so 
that of the whole year the use of physic would not be secure 
much above a quarter. Now as we do not strictly observe these 
days, so need we not the other; 3 and although consideration 

* Qui nee fallere potest vec falli. 

2 the two ^Egyptian days, <^c] Futi- 3 other,~\ i. e. canicular, 
tissimae observationes. — Wr. 


be made hereof, yet must we prefer the nearer indication be- 
fore those which are drawn from the time of the year, or 
other celestial relations. 

The second testimony is taken out of the last piece of his 
age, and after the experience 4 (as some think) of no less than an 
hundred years, that is, his Book of Aphorisms, or short and 
definitive determinations in physick. The Aphorism alleged 
is this, Sub Cane et ante Canem difficiles sunt purgationes. 
Sub Cane et Anticane, say some, including both the dog- 
stars, but that cannot consist with the Greek, airb x,vm -/.a) angi 
xuing, nor had that criticism been ever omitted by Galen. 
Now how true this sentence was in the mouth of Hippocrates, 
and with what restraint it must be understood by us, will 
readily appear from the difference between us both in cir- 
cumstantial relations. 

And first, concerning his time and chronology ; he lived in 
the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus, about the 82nd olym- 
piad, 450 years before Christ, and from our times above two 
thousand. Now since that time, as we have already declared, 
the stars have varied their longitudes, and having made 
large progressions from west to east, the time of the dog- 
star's ascent must also very much alter ; for it ariseth later 
now in the year than it formerly did in the same latitude, and 
far later unto us who have a greater elevation, for in the days 
of Hippocrates this star ascended in Cancer, which now ari- 
seth in Leo, and will in progression of time arise in Virgo ; 
and therefore, in regard of the time wherein he lived, the 
aphorism was more considerable in his days than in ours, 
and in times far past than present, and in his country than 

The place of his nativity was Coos, an island in the Myrtoan 
sea, not far from Rhodes, described in maps by the name of 
Lango, and called by the Turks, who are masters thereof, 
Stancora, according unto Ptolemy, of northern latitude, 36 
degrees. That he lived and writ in these parts is not impro- 
bably collected from the epistles that passed betwixt him and 
Artaxerxes, as also between the citizens of Abdera and Coos, 

* experience.^ Experience of 100 yeares infers lie lived at least 120 in all. — Wr. 


in the behalf of Democritus ; which place being seated, 
from our latitude of 52, 16 degrees southward, there will 
arise a different consideration, and we may much deceive 
ourselves, if we conform the ascent of stars in one place unto 
another, or conceive they arise the same day of the month in 
Coos and in England ; for, as Petavius computes, in the first 
Julian year, at Alexandria, of latitude 31, the star arose cos- 
mically in the twelfth degree of Cancer, heliacally the 26th ; 
by the compute of Geminus, about this time at Rhodes, of 
latitude 37, it ascended cosmically the 16tli of Cancer, helia- 
cally the first of Leo ; and about that time at Rome, of lati- 
tude 42, cosmically the 22nd of Cancer, and heliacally the 
first of Leo ; for unto places of greater latitude it ariseth ever 
later, so that in some latitudes the cosmical ascent happeneth 
not before the twentieth degree of Virgo, ten days before the 
autumnal equinox, and if they compute heliacally, after it in 

Again, should we allow all, and only compute unto the 
latitude of Coos, yet would it not impose a total omission of 
physick : for if in the hottest season of that clime, all physick 
were to be declined, then surely in many other none were to 
be used at any time whatsoever ; for unto many parts, not 
only in the spring and autumn, but also in the winter, the sun 
is nearer than unto the clime of Coos in the summer. 

The third consideration concerneth purging medicines, 
which are at present far different from those implied in this 
aphorism, and such as were commonly used by Hippocrates. 
For three degrees we make of purgative medicines ; the first 
thereof is very benign, not far removed from the nature of 
aliment, into which, upon defect of working, it is ofttimes 
converted, and in this form do we account manna, cassia, 
tamarinds, and many more, whereof we find no mention in 
Hippocrates. The second is also gentle, having a familiarity 
with some humour, into which it is but converted if it fail of 
its operation ; of this sort are aloe, rhubarb, senna, &c. 
whereof also few or none were known unto Hippocrates. 
The third is of a violent and venomous quality, which, frus- 
trate, of its action, assumes as it were the nature of poison, 
such as scammoneum, colocynlhis-, elaterium, euphorbium, 
vol III. G 


tithymallus, laureola, peplum, &c. Of this sort Hippocrates 
made use even in fevers, pleurisies, and quinsies ; and that 
composition is very remarkable which is ascribed unto Dio- 
genes in iEtius, * that is, of pepper, sal-ammoniac, euphor- 
bium, of each an ounce, the doses whereof four scruples and 
an half, which whosoever should take, would find in his 
bowels more than a canicular 5 heat, though in the depth 
of winter. Many of the like nature may be observed in 
.^Etius, or in the book De Dinamidiis, ascribed unto Galen, 
which is the same verbatim with the other. 

Now in regard of the second, and especially the first de- 
gree of purgatives, the aphorism 6 is not of force, but we 
may safely use them, they being benign and of innoxious 
qualities; and therefore Lucas Gauricus, who hath endea- 
voured with many testimonies to advance this consideration 
at length concedeth that lenitive physick may be used, espe- 
cially when the moon is well affected in Cancer, or in the 
watery signs. But in regard of the third degree, the apho- 
rism is considerable ; purgations may be dangerous, and a 
memorable example there is in the medical epistles of Crucius, 
of a Roman prince that died upon an ounce of diaphcenicon 
taken in this season ; from the use whereof we refrain not 
only in hot seasons, but warily exhibit it at all times in hot 
diseases; which when necessity requires, we can perform 
more safely than the ancients, as having better ways ofpre- 

* Tetrab. lib. i. Serm. 3. 

s canicular.~\ Such as is the heate of that rule, for that noe wise man will defer 

the dog-dayes in the hottest countreyes, the physick till the dog-dayes, having 

where the dog-star sheweth his force fitter times in the spring, and the fall, 

most. — Wr. wherein to take such physick with greater 

6 aphorisin.~\ Aphorisme is a general advantage. Second, that the heate of the 

rule grounded upon reason, ratified by dog-dayes in our clymates is not soe 

experience ; but in this place he gives greate as that of the torrid zone in their 

this name to that received opinion, that spring. Third, that in chronical diseases 

during the dog-dayes all physicke is to be physick may safely bee deferred till those 

declined; not bycause itt was grounded dayes bee over. Fourth, that the strength 

upon truthe, but bycause itt was generally of the aphorisme is grounded cheefly upon 

supposed to bee soe ; the ground whereof a point of wisdom; that itt must needs 

relating to those countreyes onlye which bee dangerous to adde fire to fire, i. e. 

lye under the torrid zone, bee refutes in when the bodye is overheated in the 

this chapter most judiciouslye, and de- dog-dayes to adde the heat and acrimony 

termines the state of the question most of purging medicines, but yet where the 

excellentlye in the two following periods case is desperate, as in sharpe fits, wis- 

in four propositions or conclusions. First, dom must give way to necessity ; belter 

that in preventinge there is no use of purge than dye. — Wr. 


paration and correction, that is, not only by addition of other 
bodies, but separation of noxious parts from their own. 

But besides these differences between Hippocrates and us, 
the physicians of these times and those of antiquity, the con- 
dition of the disease and the intention of the physician hold 
a main consideration in what time and place soever. For 
physick is either curative or preventive ; preventive we call 
that which by purging noxious humors, and the causes of 
diseases, preventeth sickness in the healthy, or the recourse 7 
thereof in the valetudinary ; this is of common use at the 
spring and fall, and we commend not the same at this sea- 
son. 8 Therapeutick or curative physick we term that which 
restoreth the patient unto sanity, and taketh away diseases 
actually affecting. Now of diseases some are chronical and 
of long duration, as quartan agues, scurvy, &c. wherein, be- 
cause they admit of delay, we defer the cure to more advan- 
tageous seasons ; others we term acute, that is, of short dura- 
tion and danger, as fevers, pleurisies, &c. in which, because 
delay is dangerous, and they arise unto their state before the 
dog-days determine, we apply present remedies according 
unto indications, respecting rather the acuteness 9 of the 
disease, and precipitancy x of occasion, than the rising or 
setting of the stars, the effects of the one being disputable, 
of the other assured and inevitable. 

And although astrology may here put in, and plead the 
secret influence of this star ; yet Galen in his comment makes 
no such consideration, confirming the truth of the aphorism 
from the heat of the year, and the operation of medicines 
exhibited. In regard that bodies, being heated by the sum- 
mer, cannot so well endure the acrimony of purging medicines 
and because upon purgations contrary motions ensue, the 
heat of the air attracting the humours outward, and the 
action of the medicine retracting the same inwai'd. But these 

7 recourse.'] Recurrence. headlong, hence itt signifies the soden 

8 at this season.'] That is during the passings of occasions in diseases, which 
dog days. — Wr. once let passe can never be redeemed, 

9 acuteness.] i. e. the sharp and fierce and by those means endanger the life of 
condition of the disease, admitting noede- the patient, by suffering the disease 
lay of any requisite helpe in physic. — Wr. (which might have been timely pre- 

1 precipitancy.] Precipitancy is pro- vented) to get such a masterye as noe 
perly the swift motion of a man falling physick can quell. — Wr. 

G 2 


are readily salved in the distinctions before alleged, and 
particularly in the constitution of our climate and divers 
others, wherein the air makes no such exhaustion of spirits, 
and in the benignity of our medicines, whereof some in their 
own nature, others well prepared, agitate not the humours, 
nor make a sensible perturbation. 

Nor do we hereby reject or condemn a sober and regulated 
astrology ; we hold there is more truth therein, than in as- 
trologers ; in some more than many allow, yet in none so much 
as some pretend. We deny not the influence of the stars, 
but often suspect the due application thereof; for though we 
should affirm, that all things were in all things, that heaven 
were but earth celestified, and earth but heaven terrestrified, 
or that each part above had an influence upon its divided 
affinity below ; yet how to single out these relations,* and 
duly to apply their actions, is a work ofttimes to be effect- 
ed by some revelation, and Cabala from above, rather than 
any philosophy, or speculation here below. What power 
soever they have upon our bodies, it is not requisite they 
should destroy our reasons, that is, to make us rely on the 
strength of nature, when she is least able to relieve us ; and 
when we conceive the heaven against us, to refuse the as- 
sistance of the earth created for us. This were to suffer 
from the mouth of the dog above, what others do from the 
teeth of the dogs below ; that is, to be afraid of their proper 
remedy, and refuse to approach any water, 2 though that 
hath often proved a cure unto their disease. 3 There is in 

* Hie labor, hoc opus est. 

2 refuse to approach any ivater,~\ The standers, she found herself capable of 
horror of water in this disease, though a looking at the water, and even of drink- 
very general, is not an invariable symp- ing it without choaking." — Good's Study 
torn, even in the human subject. of Medicine, iii, 362. 

3 hath often proved a cure, §c.~\ "Mo- Dr. Good enumerates a variety of 
rin relates the case of a young woman, modes of treatment which have been 
twenty years old, who, labouring under adopted, and medicines which have been 
symptoms of hydrophobia, was plunged prescribed, with most uncertain and only 
into a tub of water with a bushel of salt occasional success. 

dissolved in it, and was harassed with An American plant (Scutellaria late- 

repeated dippings till she became insen- riflora, or Virginian skullcap,) has been 

sible and was at the point of death, when used with great success by several Ameri- 

she was still left in the tub sitting against can practitioners : and so powerful has 

its sides. In this state, we are told, she been its influence, that it has been made 

was at length fortunate enough to recover the subject of a separate publication by 

her senses : when, much to her own as- Dr. Spalding, of New York, in 1819. 

tonishment, as well as that of the by- It appears to have been discovered by a 


wise men a power beyond the stars ; and Ptolemy encourag- 
eth us, that by foreknowledge we may evade their actions ; 
for, being but universal causes, they are determined by par- 
ticular agents ; which being inclined not constrained, con- 
tain within themselves the casting act, and a power to 
command the conclusion. 

Lastly, if all be conceded, and were there in this aphor- 
ism an unrestrained truth, yet were it not reasonable from a 
caution to infer a non-usance or abolition, from a thing to be 
used with discretion, not to be used at all. Because the 
apostle bids us beware of philosophy, heads of extremity 
will have none at all ; an usual fallacy in vulgar and less dis- 
tinctive brains, who having once overshot the mean, run 
violently on, and find no rest but in the extremes. 4 

Now hereon we have the longer insisted, because the error 
is material, and concerns ofttimes the life of man ; an error, 
to be taken notice of by state, and provided against by 
princes who are of the opinion of Solomon, that their riches 
consist in the multitude of their subjects. An error worse 
than some reputed heresies ; and of greater danger to the 
body, than they unto the soul ; which whosoever is able to 
reclaim, he shall save more in one summer, than Themison* 
destroyed in any autumn ; he shall introduce a new way of 
cure, preserving by theory, as well as practice, and men not 
only from death, but from destroying themselves. 

* A physician. Quot Themison cegros autumno occiderit uno.— Juvenal. 

Dr. Lawrence Van Derveer, of New in each of these cases the quantity of the 

Jersey, who used it successfully in hy- plant actually taken had been very in- 

drophobia, as early as 1773. From him considerable. It had also been given to 

the remedy was communicated through more than 1,100 animals under similar 

his son to other practitioners : and was circumstances, and with nearly equal 

very extensively used at the date of Dr. success. 

Spalding's pamphlet. It is taken in a 4 extremes.'] This censure fitlye 

decoction of the dried plant ; a tea-spoon- reaches all clymats of the worlde and all 

ful and an half to a quart of boiling times for a prudent caution. For as in 

water : — the patient taking half-a-pint of the state of corrupted nature, this fallacy 

this infusion, morning and night. is (more then epidemical, that is) uni- 

Dr. S. states that the Scutellaria has versall : soe (to the comforte of the 

been given to more than 850 persons worlde) being once swalowed, and put 

bitten by animals believed to be rabid, in practise, itt never failes to pay the 

and that in only three instances had practisers in fine with their owne coigne, 

hydrophobic symptoms supervened, and viz. destruction and ruin. — Wr. 





Of the Picture of the Pelican. 

And first, in every place we meet with the picture of the 
pelican, opening her breast with her bill, and feeding her 
young ones with the blood distilled from her. Thus is it set 
forth not only in common signs, but in the crest and scutcheon 
of many noble families ; hath been asserted by many holy 
writers, and was an hieroglyphick of piety and pity among 
the Egyptians ; on which consideration they spared them at 
their tables. 5 

Notwithstanding, upon inquiry we find no mention hereof 
in ancient zoographers, and such as have particularly dis- 

5 And first, ^c] These singular birds As to its hieroglypliical import, Hora- 
are said to fish in companies; they form polio says that it was used among the 
a circle on the water, and having by the Egyptians as an emblem of folly ; on 
flapping of their huge wings, driven the account of the little care it takes to de- 
terrified fish towards the centre, they posit its eggs in a safe place. He relates 
suddenly dive all at once as by consent, that it buries them in a hole ; that the 
and soon fill their immense pouches with natives, observing the place, cover it with 
their prey. In order subsequently to dry cow's dung, to which they set fire, 
disgorge the contents, in feeding their The old birds immediately endeavouring 
young, they have only to press the to extinguish the fire with their wings, 
pouch on their breast. This operation get them burnt and so are easily caught. 
may very probably have given rise to — Horap. Hlerogl. cura Pauw, 4to. Traj. 
the fable, that the pelican opens ber ad Rh. 1727, pp. 67, 68. 
breast to nourish her young. 


coursed upon animals, as Aristotle, /Elian, Pliny, Solinus, 
and many more ; who seldom forget proprieties of such a 
nature, and have been very punctual in less considerable re- 
cords. Some ground hereof I confess we may allow, nor 
need we deny a remarkable affection in pelicans toward their 
young; for ./Elian discoursing of storks, and their affection 
toward their brood, whom they instruct to fly, and unto 
whom they redeliver up the provision of their bellies, con- 
cludeth at last, that herons and pelicans do the like. 

As for the testimonies of ancient fathers, and ecclesiastical 
writers, we may more safely conceive therein some emblema- 
tical, than any real, story : so doth Eucherius confess it to be 
the emblem of Christ. And we are unwilling literally to 
receive that account of Jerom, that perceiving her young 
ones destroyed by serpents, she openeth her side with her 
bill, by the blood whereof they revive and return unto life 
again. By which relation they might indeed illustrate the 
destruction of man by the old serpent, and his restorement 
by the blood of Christ : and in this sense we shall not dis- 
pute the like relations of Austin, Isidore, Albertus, and many 
more ; and under an emblematical intention, we accept it in 

As for the hieroglyphick of the Egyptians, they erected the 
same upon another consideration, which was parental affec- 
tion ; manifested in the protection of her young ones, when 
her nest was set on fire. For as for letting out her blood, it 
was not the assertion of the Egyptians, but seems translated 
unto the pelican from the vulture, as Pierius hath plainly 
delivered. Sed quod pelicanum (ut etiam aliis plerisque per- 
suasum est) rostro pectus dissecantem pingunt, ita ut suo 
sanguine jilios alat, ah JEgyptiorum historia valde alienum 
est, illi enim vulturem tantum idfacere tradlderunt. 

And lastly, as concerning the picture, if naturally examined, 
and not hieroglyphically conceived, it containeth many im- 
proprieties, disagreeing almost in all things from the true and 
proper description. For, whereas it is commonly set forth 
green or yellow, in its proper colour it is inclining to white, 
excepting the extremities or tops of the wing feathers, which 
are brown. It is described in the bigness of a hen, whereas 


it approacheth and sometimes exceedeth the magnitude of a 
swan, 6 It is commonly painted with a short bill ; whereas 
that of the pelican 7 attaineth sometimes the length of two 
spans. The bill is made acute or pointed at the end, whereas 
it is flat and broad, 8 though somewhat inverted at the ex- 
treme. It is described like Jissipedes, or birds which have 
their feet or claws divided : whereas it is palmipedous, or fin- 
footed, like swans and geese, according to the method of 
nature, in latirostrous or flat-billed birds, which being gene- 
rally swimmers, the organ is wisely contrived unto the action, 
and they are framed with fins or oars upon their feet, and 
therefore they neither light, nor build on trees, if we except 
cormorants, who make their nests like herons. Lastly, there 
is one part omitted more remarkable than any other ; that is, 
the chowle or crop adhering unto the lower side of the bill, 
and so descending by the throat : a bag or satchel very ob- 
servable, and of a capacity almost beyond credit; which, not- 
withstanding, this animal could not want ; for therein it 
receiveth oysters, cockles, scollops, and other testaceous 
animals, which being not able to break, it retains them until 
they open, and vomiting them up, takes out the meat con- 
tained. This is that part preserved for a rarity, and wherein 
(as Sanctius delivers) in one dissected, a negro child was 

A possibility there may be of opening and bleeding their 
breast, for this may be done by the uncous and pointed ex- 
tremity of their bill; and some probability also that they 
sometimes do it for their own relief, though not for their 
young ones ; that is, by nibbling and biting themselves on 
their itching part of their breast, upon fulness or acrimony of 

G whereas it approacheth, fyc] This from whence (doubtles) the author mak- 

bird, says Buffon, would be the largest of e th this relation iS, avro-^iq.— Wr. 

water-birds, were not the body of the * fiat and broad'] From hence itt is 

albatross more thick, and the legs of the that many ancients call this bird the 

flamingo so much longer. It is some- snove]ler: and the Greeks der i ve «reXs. 

times six feet long from point of bill to , „ . , . , 

end of tail, and twelve feet from wing- *"» frora «**¥»» t0 ™°™das with an 

tin to wing-tip. axe ' w hich suites with the shape of his 

7 that of the pelican.-] This descrip- }> eake in len S th andbreadthe like a root- 

tion of the authors agrees (per omnia) ln S axe > P er omnia. Wr. 

with that live pellican, which was to bee But the term shoveller is now applied 

seen in King Street, Westminster, 1647, t0 a s P ecies of duck ; mms cJ yP mta " 


blood. And the same may be better made out, if (as some 
relate) their feathers on that part are sometimes observed to 
be red and tinctured with blood. 9 


Of the Picture of Dolphins. 

That dolphins are crooked, is not only affirmed by the hand 
of the painter, but commonly conceived their natural and 
proper figure, which is not only the opinion of our times, but 
seems the belief of elder times before us. For, beside the 
expressions of Ovid and Pliny, the portraits in some an- 
cient coins are framed in this figure, as will appear in some 
thereof in Gesner, others in Goltsius, and Laevinus Hulsius 
in his description of coins from Julius Caesar unto Rodolphus 
the second. 

Notwithstanding, to speak strictly, in their natural figure 
they are straight, nor have their spine convexed, or more 
considerably embowed, than sharks, porpoises, 1 whales, and 
other cetaceous animals, as Scaliger plainly affirmeth ; Corpus 
habet non magis curvum quam reliqui pisces. As ocular en- 
quiry informeth ; and as, unto such as have not had the 
opportunity to behold them, their proper portraits will dis- 

9 A possibility, fyc.~] This paragraph ed by the dean, is probably the common 

was first added in Cth edition, dolphin, — Dclphinus Delphis; but the 

1 porpoises.'] Ileade porkpisces. The porpoise is a different animal, Delphis 

porkpisce (that is the dolphin) hath his Phocesna, now constituted a distinct ge- 

name from the hog hee resembles in con- nus. Ray, however, says, that the por- 

vexity and curvitye of his backe, from the poise is the dolphin of the ancients. The 

head to the tayle : nor is hee otherwise following passage from his Philosophical 

curbe, then as a hog is : except that be- Letters, p. 46, corroborates the dean's 

fore a storme, hee tumbles just as a hog proposed etymology. It occurs in a 

runs. That which I once saw, cutt up letter to Dr. Martin Lister, May 7, 1669. 

in Fish street, was of this forme and " Totam corpus copiosa et densa pingue- 

above five foote longe : his skin notskaly, dine, (piscatores blubber vocant) duorum 

but smoothe and black, like bacon in the plus minus digitorum crassitie undique 

chimney ; and his bowels in all points integebatur, immediate sub cute, et su- 

like a hog : and yf instead of his four pra carnem musculosam sita, ut in por- 

fins you imagine four feete, hee would cis ; ob quam rationem, et quod porcorum 

represent a black hog (ast it were) sweal'd grunnitum quadantcnus imitetur, por- 

alive. — Wr. pesse, — i.e. porcum piscem, dictum eum 

This creature, so graphically describ- existimo." 


cover in Rondeletius, Gesner, and Aldrovandus. And as 
indeed is deducible from pictures themselves; for though 
they be drawn repandous, or convexedly crooked in one 
piece, yet the dolphin that carrieth Arion 2 is concavously in- 
verted, and hath its spine depressed in another. And an- 
■swerably hereunto may we behold them differently bowed in 
medals, and the dolphins of Tarus and Fulius do make 
another flexure from that of Commodus and Agrippa. 3 

And therefore what is delivered of their incurvity, must 
either be taken emphatically, that is, not realiy, but in ap- 
pearance ; which happeneth when they leap above water and 
suddenly shoot down again : which is a fallacy in vision, 
whereby straight bodies in a sudden motion protruded ob- 
liquely downward, appear unto the eye crooked ; and this is 
the construction of Bellonius : or, if it be taken really, it 
must not universally and perpetually ; that is, not when they 
swim and remain in their proper figures, but only when they 
leap, or impetuously whirl their bodies any way ; and this is 
the opinion of Gesnerus. Or lastly, it may be taken neither 
really nor emphatically, but only emblematically ; for being 
the hieroglyphick of celerity, 4 and swifter than other animals, 
men best expressed their velocity by incurvity, and under 
some figure of a bow ; and in this sense probably do heralds 

2 yet the dolphin that carrieth Arion.] being no fish else that loves the company 

" The Persian authors of high antiquity of men." 

say, that the delfin will take on his back " Some authors, more especially the an- 

persons in danger of being drowned, cients, have asserted that dolphins have 

from whence comes the fable of Arion. a lively and natural affection towards 

The word is derived from vh"] stillare, the human species, with which they are 

. , ,„ , ,',!,• easily led to familiarize. Thev have 

fluere de f ; because the dolphin was recounted manv marvellous st( ; iies on 

considered as the king of the sea, and ^ t _ ^ ^ . g km)wn 

Neptune a monarch represented under ce ^ { . thaf . ^^ 

the image of this fish. Dolphins were , . , * , ... . . c 

, f , . . . j •.• s ' n P at sea, they rush in a crowd before 

the symbols of mantime towns and cities. . summnd ^ e theh . confi _ 

See Spanheim, 4to. 141 ed. 1671. Dr. dence b id wrie * and 

S. Weston's Specimen of the Conformity , .. J r .. . ,. , r . 

" _ ' .„ ' „ . •' T J evolutions, sometimes bounding, leaping:, 

of the European witn the Oriental Lan- , .... °'„ c °' 

' c n ,ono », »,/. o and manceuvenng m all manner of ways ; 

euascs, &c. 8vo. ISO.i, pp. /5, 76. bee .. . ° . ,. . , J . 

b , b ' ? . _ ,, ' rr ' sometimes performing complicated cir- 

also Alciaii hmblem. xc. , .. , -r-, ... , „ 

„ . , ., „ -, „. . ,, , cumvolutions, and exhibiting a degree of 

" And answerably, Sec. I rirst added .... ' , . .. °, ." ,, 

. n ^ i- • grace, agility, dexterity, and strength, 

in Jrd edition. which is perfectly astonishing. Perhaps 

4 the hieroglyphick of celerity. byl- , K c ,: __ , , .. r , 

« - to - , • c i c/~i J however they follow the track of vessels 

vanus Morgan, in his Sphere of Gentry, . , , J , , , ~ 

/,. , , „„,n l n i a j i i- with no other view than the hopes of 

(fol 1661) p. 69 says that the dolphin ^ SQmeM that M { (lQm 

is the hieroglyphick of society ! there kem».-C«wr, hy Griffiths. 


also receive it, when, from a dolphin extended, they distin- 
guish a dolphin embowed. 

And thus also must that picture be taken of a dolphin 
clasping an anchor ; 5 that is, not really, as is by most con- 
ceived out of affection unto man, conveying the anchor unto 
the ground ; but emblematically, according as Pierius hath 
expressed it, the swiftest animal conjoined with that heavy 
body, implying that common moral, festina lente : and that 
celerity should always be contempered with cunctation. 


Of the Picture of a Grasshopper. 

There is also among us a common description and picture of 
a grasshopper, as may be observed in the pictures of emble- 
matists, in the coats of several families, and as the word 
cicada is usually translated in dictionaries. Wherein to speak 
strictly, if by this word grasshopper, we understand that 
animal which is implied by rerr/|* with the Greeks, and by 
cicada with the Latins, we may with safety affirm the pic- 
ture is widely mistaken, and that for aught enquiry can 
inform, there is no such insect in England. 6 Which how 
paradoxical soever, upon a strict enquiry, will prove undenia- 
ble truth. 

5 a dolphin clasping an anchor.'] The cicaDjE ! Mr. John Curtis (since de- 
device of the family of Manutius, cele- servedly well known as the author of 
brated as learned printers at Venice and British Entomology, J was then residing 
Rome. . See Alciati Emblem, cxliv. with me as draughtsman ; and no doubt 

6 no such insect in England.'] It is our united examinations were diligently 
perfectly true that, till recently, no spe- bestowed to find the little stranger among 
cies of the true Linnasan Cicadse, (Tetti- the descrihed species of the continent; 
gonia, Fab.) had been discovered in but in vain. I quite forget whether we 
Great Britain. About twenty years bestowed a MS. name; probably not; 
since, I had the pleasure of adding this as scarcely hoping that the first species dis- 
classical and most interesting genus to covered to be indigenous, would also prove 
the British Fauna. Having, about that to be peculiar to our country, and be 
time, engaged Mr. Daniel Bydder, (a distinguished by the national appellation 
weaver in Spitalfields, and a very enthu- of Cicada ANGLICA. Yet so it has prov- 
siastic entomologist,) to collect for me in td : Mr. Samouelle, I believe, first gave 
the New Forest, Hampshire, I received it that name ; and Mr. Curtis has given 
from him thence many valuable insects an exquisite figure, and full description 
from time to time, and at length, to my of it, in the 9th vol. of his British Ento- 
surprise and great satisfaction, a pair of mology, No. 392. I cannot however speak 


For first, that animal which the French term sauterelle, 
we a grasshopper, and which under this name is commonly 
described by us, is named "Axgig by the Greeks, by the Latins 
locusta, and by ourselves in proper speech a locust ; as in the 
diet of John Baptist, and in our translation, "the locusts have 
no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands." * Again, 
between the cicada and that we call a grasshopper, the dif- 
ferences are very many, as may be observed in themselves, or 
their descriptions in Matthiolus, Aldrovandus, and Muffetus. 
For first, they are differently cucullated or capuched upon 
the head and back, and in the cicadce the eyes are more pro- 
minent: the locusts have antennae or long horns before, with 
a long falcation or forcipated tail behind : and being ordained 
for saltation, their hinder legs do far exceed the other. The 
locust or our grasshopper hath teeth, the cicada none at all ; 
nor any mouth, according unto Aristotle. 7 The cicada is 
most upon trees ; and lastly, the frittinnitus, or proper note 
thereof, is far more shrill than that of the locust, and its life 
so short in summer, that for provision it needs not have 
recourse unto the providence of the pismire in winter. 

And therefore where the cicada must be understood, the 
pictures of heralds and emblematists are not exact, nor is it 
safe to adhere unto the interpretation of dictionaries, and 
we must with candour make out our own translations ; for in 
the plague of Egypt, Exodus x, the word "Axgig is translated 
a locust, but in the same sense and subject, Wisdom xvi, it is 
translated a grasshopper; "for them the bitings of grass- 
hoppers and flies killed ;" whereas we have declared before 
the cicada hath no teeth, but is conceived to live upon dew, 

* Proverbs xxx. 

in so high terms of his account of its origi- events he ought to have recorded the 

nal discovery. I cannot understand why name of the poor man by whose indus- 

he has thus dryly noticed it:' " C. Anglica the discovery was 

was first discovered in the New Forest, effected. 

about twenty years ago." I should have 1 The locust, SfC."] Both the locusta 

supposed that it might have given him and cicada are furnished with teeth — if 

some pleasure to attach to his narrative by that term we are to understand mau- 

the name of an old friend, from whom he dibula and maxilla. But in cicada they 

had received early and valuable assistance, are not so obvious ; being enclosed in the 

and to whom he was indebted for his labium. This conformation probably led 

acquaintance with the art he has so long Aristotle to say they had no mouth, 
and so successfully pursued. At all 


and the possibility of its subsistence is disputed by Licetus- 
Hereof I perceive MufFetus hath taken notice, dissenting from 
Langius and Lycosthenes, while they deliver the cicadce 
destroyed the fruits in Germany, where that insect is not 
found, and therefore concludeth, Tarn ipsos qudni alios de- 
ceptos fuisse autumo, dum locustas cicadas esse vidgari err ore 

And hereby there may be some mistake in the due dispen- 
sation of medicines desumed from this animal, particularly of 
diatettigon, commended by iEtius, in the affections of the 
kidnies. It must be likewise understood with some restric- 
tion what hath been affirmed by Isidore, and yet delivered 
by many, that cicades are bred out of cuckoo-spittle or wood- 
sear, that is, that spumous frothy dew or exudation, or both, 
found upon plants, especially about the joints of lavender 
and rosemary, observable with us about the latter end of 
May. For here the true cicada is not bred ; but certain it 
is, that out of this, some kind of locust doth proceed, for 
herein may be discovered a little insect of a festucine or pale 
green, resembling in all parts a locust, or what we call a 
grasshopper. 8 

Lastly, the word itself is improper, and the term grass- 
hopper not appliable unto the cicada ; for therein the organs 
of motion are not contrived for saltation, nor have the hinder 
legs of such extension, as is observable in salient animals, 
and such as move by leaping. "Whereto the locust is very 
well conformed, for therein the legs behind are longer than 
all the body, and make at the second joint acute angles, at a 
considerable advancement above their backs. 

The mistake therefore with us might have its original from 
a defect in our language, for having not the insect with us, 
we have not fallen upon its proper name, and so make use of 
a term common unto it and the locust ; whereas other coun- 
tries have proper expressions for it. So the Italian calls it 

S cicades are bred, #c] Here is ano- viz. homoptera, but very distinct in gene- 
ther error. The froth spoken of is always ric character, and especially without the 
found to contain the larva of a little power of sound. It has no great re- 
skipping insect, frequently mis-called a semblance to locuslee, which belong to a 
cicada, but properly cercopis ; allied in distinct order, viz. orthoptera. 
form to cicada, and of the same order, 


cicada, the Spaniard cigarra, and the French cigale ; all 
which appellations conform unto the original, and properly 
express this animal. Whereas our word is borrowed from 
the Saxon gaersthoop, which our forefathers, who never be- 
held the cicada, used for that insect which we yet call a 
grasshopper. 9 


Of the Picture of the Serpent tempting Eve. 

In the picture of paradise, and delusion of our first parents, 
the serpent is often described with human visage, 1 not unlike 
unto Cadmus or his wife in the act of their metamorphosis. 
Which is not a mere pictorial contrivance or invention of the 
picturer, but an ancient tradition and conceived reality, as it 
stands delivered by Beda and authors of some antiquity, 2 that 
is, that Satan appeared not unto Eve in the naked form of a 
serpent, but with a virgin's head, that thereby he might be- 
come more acceptable, and his temptation find the easier 
entertainment. Which nevertheless is a conceit not to be 
admitted, and the plain and received figure is with better 
reason embraced. 

For first, as Pierius observeth from Barcephas, the assump- 
tion of human shape had proved a disadvantage unto Satan, 
affording not only a suspicious amazement in Eve, 3 before 

9 Whereas our word, Sfc] This sen- went upright and spake. 'T is probable 

tence was first added in 6th edition. — (and thwarteth noe truth) that the ser- 

See vol. iv, 185. pent spake to Eve. Does not the text 

1 visage.] See Munster's Hebrew expressly saye soe ? The devil had as 
Bible, where in the letter which begins much power then as now, and yf now 
the first If the serpent is made with a he can take upon him the forme of an 
Virgin's face. Wr. angel of light, why not then the face of 

In Munster's Hebrew and Latin Bible, a humane creature as well as the voice of 

(Basil, 1535, ex Off. Bebelkma,) at the man?— Wr. 

commencement of the Psalms, is the 3 Eve.] Eve might easier entertaine 

initial letter B, which is a wood-cut of a suspicious amazement to heare a ser- 

Adam, Eve, and the serpent between pent speake in a humane voyce, than to 

them, with the face of a virgin. heare a humane voyce in ahumaneshape ; 

2 antiquity.] See vol. ii, p. 230, where nor was itt more wonder for Sathan to as- 
he quotes Basil saving, that the serpent sume one than both. It suited better with 


the fact, in beholding a third humanity beside herself and 
Adam, but leaving some excuse unto the woman, which after- 
ward the man took up with lesser reason, that is, to have 
been deceived by another like herself. 

Again, there is no inconvenience in the shape assumed, or 
any considerable impediment that it might disturb that per- 
formance in the common form of a serpent. For whereas it 
is conceived the woman must needs be afraid thereof, and 
rather fly than approach it, it was not agreeable unto the 
condition of paradise and state of innocency therein ; if in 
that place, as most determine, no creature was hurtful or 
terrible unto man, and those destructive effects they now dis- 
cover succeeded the curse, and came in with thorns and 
briars ; and therefore Eugubinus (who affirmeth this serpent 
was a basilisk) incurreth no absurdity, nor need we infer that 
Eve should be destroyed immediately upon that vision. For 
noxious animals could offend them no more in the garden 
than Noah in the ark ; as they peaceably received their names, 
so they friendly possessed their natures, and were their con- 
ditions destructive unto each other, they were not so unto 
man, whose constitutions then were antidotes, and needed not 
fear poisons ; and if (as most conceive) there were but two 
created of every kind, they could not at that time destroy 
either man or themselves, for this had frustrated the com- 
mand of multiplication, destroyed a species, and imperfected 
the creation ; and therefore also if Cain were the first man 
born, with him entered, not only the act, but the first power 
of murder, for before that time neither could the serpent 
nor Adam destroy Eve, nor Adam and Eve each other, for 
that had overthrown the intention of the world, and put its 
Creator to act the sixth day over again. 

Moreover, whereas in regard of speech, and vocal con- 
ference with Eve, it may be thought he would rather assume 
an human shape and organs, than the improper form of a 

his crafte to deliver his wile by a. face suit- thought not fit to reveale any more. Wee 

able to the voice of man, and since we be- see the fathers differ in opinion, and 

lieve the one, we may without error be- there is enough on either side to refute 

leive the other. But itt is safest to believe the scorne of Julian, who payd deare 

what we ( recorded of the human inoughc for his atheistical, or rather anti- 

voyce, and leave the other to Him who theisticall blasphemye, — IVr. 




serpent, it implies no material impediment. Nor need we to 
wonder how he contrived a voice out of the mouth of a ser- 
pent, who hath done the like out of the belly of a Pythonissa, 
and the trunk of an oak, as he did for many years at Dodona. 
Lastly, whereas it might be conceived 4 that an human 

4 conceived.] Itt might wel bee con- 
ceived (and soe it seemes itt was) by St. 
Basil, that a virgin's head (hee does not 
saye a humane shape) was fittest for this 
intention of speakinge, itt being most 
probable Eve would be more amazed to 
heare such a creature as a serpent speake 
with a humane voyce, then to heare a 
human voyce passe through the mouth 
of a virgin face. To hear a voice without 
a head must needs (as the subtile serpent 
knew full well) have started in Eve either 
the supposition of a causeles miracle, or 
the suspition of an imposture ; there- 
fore to cut off those scruples, which might 
have prevented and frustrated his ayme, 
tis most probable the subtile tempter 
assumed the face as well as the voice of 
a Virgin to conveigh that temptation 
which he supposed Eve would greedily 

Julius Scaliger, that magazin of all 
various learninge, in his 183rd exercita- 
tion and 4th section, speaking of certaine 
strange kinds of serpents, reports that in 
Malabar, there are serpents 8 foote long, 
of a horrible aspect, but harmless unless 
they bee provoked. These he cals boy- 
lovers (psederotas,) for that they will for 
manye houres together stand bolt upright 
gazing on the boyes at their sportes, never 
offring to hurte any of them. 

These, saithe he, while they glide on 
the ground are like other serpents or 
eeles (like conger eeles,) but raising 
themselves upright they spread them- 
selves into such a corpulent breadthe, that 
had they feet they would seeme to be 
men, and therefore he cals them by a 
coigned name, sy^sXavd^duTrovg, eele- 
like men, though hee might more pro- 
perly call them opiav6e(L<7rovg, dragon- 
like men. Now though we can yeeld 
noe greater beleefe to this story then the 
Portuguez that traffique thither deserve, 
yet bycause the world owes many ex- 
cellent discoveryes of hidden truths to 
his indefatigable diligence and learned 
labors, seldome taxed for fabulous asser- 
tions, why may we not think that itt 

was this kinde of serpent, whose shape 
Satan assumed when he spake to Eve.* 
For since Moses tels us that God per- 
mitted the serpent to deceive our grand- 
mother by faigning the voyce of man, 
wee may reasonably acquit St. Basil of 
error, or offring violence to trueth, that 
hee tooke it as granted by a paritye of 
like reason, that the serpent would rather 
assume such a face and appearance of 
humane forme as might sute with a hu- 
mane voyce, at least would frame a hu- 
mane visage as well as a human tounge, 
which is but a parte in the head of man, 
for which the head (rather then for any 
other sense) seemes to have been made 
by God, that the spirits of men (which 
till they discover themselves by language 
cannot bee understood) might by the 
benefit of this admirable instrument, have 
mutual commerce and intelligence, and 
conveighe their inwarde conceptions each 
to other. Surely yf every such a strange 
serpent as this which Scaliger describes 
were scene in the world, we must per- 
force grant that they are some of that 
kinde which God at first created soe, and 
that Satan subtily choose to enter into 
that kinde which before the curse natu- 
rally went upright (as they say the ha- 
siliske now does,) and could soe easily, 
soe nearly represent the appearance and 
shew of man not only in gate but in voyce 
as the Scripture speakes. That they 
have no feete makes soe much the more 
for the conjecture, and that however itt 
seemes this kinde of serpent (which 
Satan used as an instrument of his fraud) 
did originally goe upwright, and can yet 
frame himselfe into that posture, yet by 
God's just doome is now forced to creep 
on his belly in the duste ; where though 
they strike at our heele, they are liable 
to have their heade bruised and trampled 
on by the foote of man. — Wr. 

Respecting the basilisk, see note 9, 
vol. ii. p. 414. 

In one of the illustrations to Csedmon's 
Paraphrase, mentioned p. 99, I find the 
serpent standing "bolt upright" receiving 

* See what I noted long since on Gen. Hi, i4, to this purpose in the Geneva Bible. 




shape was fitter for tins enterprise, it being more than 
probable she would be amazed to hear a serpent speak ; 
some conceive she might not yet be certain that only man 
was privileged with speech, and being in the novity of 
the creation, and inexperience of all things, might not be 
affrighted to hear a serpent speak. Besides, she might be 
ignorant of their natures, who was not versed in their names, 
as being not present at the general survey of animals when 

his sentence, and another figure of him 
lying on the ground, to indicate his con- 
demnation to subsequent reptility. Some 
critics have complained of the painters 
for representing him without feet in his 
interview with Eve, whereas, say tbey, 
his creeping on his belly was inflicted on 
him as a punishment. Had those critics 
been acquainted with professor Mayer's 
assertion, that rudimental feet are found 
in almost all the serpent tribe, they would 
doubtless have regarded it as a confirma- 
tion of their opinion, and would have 
contended that these imperfect and un- 
serviceable rudiments of feet were all the 
traces left to them of those locomotive 
powers which this, as well as other verte- 
brated animals, had originally enjoyed. 
Dr. Adam Clarke gives a very long and 
elaborate article on the temptation of 
Eve. His opinion is that the tempter- 
was an ape; he builds his hypothesis on 
the fact that the Hebrew word (nachash, 
Gen. iii, 1,) is nearly the same with an 
Arabic word, signifying an ape and THE 
Devil! He thus sums up: " In this 
account we find, 1. That whatever this 
nachash was, he stood at the head of all 
inferior animals for wisdom and under- 
standing. 2. That he walked erect, for 
this is necessarily implied in his punish- 
ment — on thy belly (i. e. on all fours) 
shalt thou go. ?>. That he was endued 
with the gift of speech, for a conversation 
is here related between him and the 
woman. 4. That he was also endued 
with the gift of reason, for we find him 
reasoning and disputing with Eve. 5. 
That these things were common to this 
creature, the woman no doubt having 
often seen him walk erect, talk, and 
reason, and therefore she testifies no 
kind of surprise when he accosts her in 
the language related in the text." Grant- 
ing, for a moment, the Doctor's five 
positions, I would ask, does he mean 
that the ape is a creature which now 

answers the description 1 Most certainly 
it does not, any more than the serpent. 
If on the other hand he means that the 
creature, through whom Satan tempted 
Eve, had previously possessed those ad- 
vantages, but lost them as a punishment 
of that offence, then why not suppose it 
to have been a serpent, or any other 
creature, as well as the ape 1 The theory 
itself stultifies any attempt to discover 
the tempter among creatures noiv in exis- 
tence, because we are required to suppose 
their nature and habits to have totally 
changed. The serpent certainly has one 
claim, which the ape has not, namely, 
that its present mode of going is (in ac- 
cordance with the Scriptural description) 
on its belly ; which, with deference to 
the learned Doctor, " going on all fours" 
is not, unless he can justify what he in 
fact says, that quadrupeds and reptiles 
move alike ! Moreover, his selection is 
specially unfortunate in this very respect, 
that of all animals the ape noiv approaches 
most nearly to the human mode of walk- 
ing, and exhibits therefore the most in- 
complete example of the fulfilment of 
the curse — "on thy belly shalt thou go." 
Hadrian Beverland, in his Peccatum 
Originate, l'2mo. 1676, has published 
his strange speculations as to the nature 
of the temptation, to which our mother 
yielded. But after all, neither as one point 
nor another, which has not been clearly 
revealed, shall we be likely either to ob- 
tain or communicate any useful informa- 
tion. The indulgence of a prurient and 
speculative imagination on points which, 
not having been disclosed, cannot be dis- 
covered, and the knowledge of which 
would serve no good purpose, were far 
better restrained. We know, alas, that 
what constituted sin originally, has ever 
been and ever will be its heinous feature 
in the sight of the Great Lawgiver — viz. 
disobedience to his known and under- 
stood commands. 




Adam assigned unto every one a name concordant unto its 
nature. Nor is this only my opinion, but the determination 
of Lombard and Tostatus, and also the reply of Cyril unto 
the objection of Julian, who compared this story unto the 
fables of the Greeks. 


Of the Picture of Adam and Eve with Navels. 

Another mistake there may be in the picture of our first 
parents, who after the manner of their posterity are both 
delineated with a navel ; and this is observable not only in 
ordinary and stained pieces, but in the authentic draughts of 
Urbin, Angelo, and others. 5 Which notwithstanding cannot 
be allowed, except we impute that unto the first cause, which 
we impose not on the second, or what we deny unto Nature, 
we impute unto naturity itself, that is, that in the first and 
most accomplished piece, the Creator affected superfluities, 
or ordained parts without use or office. 6 

5 and others. ~\ It is observable in the 
rude figures of Adam and Eve, among the 
illuminations of Czedmon's Metrical Para- 
phrase of Scripture History engraved in the 
24th vol. of the Archceohgia. But worse 
mistakes have been committed in depicting 
" our first parents." In the gallery of 
the convent of Jesuits, at Lisbon, there 
is a fine picture of Adam in paradise, 
dressed (qu. after the fall?) in blue 
breeches with silver buckles, and Eve 
with a striped petticoat. In the distance 
appears a procession of capuchins bearing 
the cross. 

6 Which notwithstanding, <^c] It 
seems to have been the intention of our 
author, in this somewhat obscure sen- 
tence, to object, that, in supposing Adam 
to have been formed with a navel, we 
suppose a superfluity in that which was 
produced by nature (naturity,') while in 
nature herself we affirm there is nothing 
superfluous, or useless. It is, however, 
somewhat hazardous to pronounce that 
useless whose office may not be very 
obvious to us. Who will venture to 
point out the office of the mamma in 
the male sex ? or to say wherefore some 

of the serpent tribes are provided with 
the rudiments of feet which can scarcely, 
if at all, be of any use to them ? — a fact 
which has been asserted recently by a 
German naturalist of distinction, Dr. 
Mayer, as the result of long and very 
extensive anatomical examination of the 
principal families of the serpents. He 
thereon proposes a new division of the 
order, — into Phj$:noptera, those snakes 
whose rudimental feet are externally vi- 
sible, and comprising Boa, Python, Eryx, 
Clothonia, and Tortrix ; Cryptopoda, 
in which the bony rudiments are entire- 
ly concealed beneath the skin, containing 
Anguis, Typhlops, and Amphisbana ; and 
Chondropoda and Apoda, in which the 
rudiments are scarcely, or not at all, ob- 
servable. — Nova Acta Acad. Ctssar. Na- 
ture Curiosorum, torn, xii, p. 2. 

Respecting the singular subject of dis- 
cussion in this chapter ; it appears to me 
that not only Adam and Eve, but all 
species, both of the animal, vegetable, and 
mineral kingdoms, were created at once 
in their perfect state ; and therefore all 
exhibiting such remaining traces of a less 
perfect state, as those species, in their 

H 2 


For the use of the navel is to continue the infant unto 
the mother, and by the vessels thereof to convey its aliment 
and sustentation. The vessels whereof it consisteth, are the 
umbilical vein, which is a branch of the porta, and implanted 
in the liver of the infant ; two arteries likewise arising from 
the iliacal branches, by which the infant receiveth the purer 
portion of blood and spirits from the mother ; and lastly, the 
urachos or ligamental passage derived from the bottom of the 
bladder, whereby it dischargeth the waterish and urinary 
part of its aliment. Now upon the birth, when the infant 
forsaketh the womb, although it dilacerate, and break the 
involving membranes, yet do these vessels hold, and by the 
mediation thereof the infant is connected unto the womb, not 
only before, but awhile also after the birth. These therefore 
the midwife cutteth off, contriving them into a knot close 
unto the body of the infant ; from whence ensueth that 
tortuosity or complicated nodosity we usually call the navel; 
occasioned by the colligation of vessels before mentioned. 
Now the navel being a part, not precedent, but subsequent 
unto generation, nativity, or parturition, it cannot be well 
imagined at the creation or extraordinary formation of Adam, 
who immediately issued from the artifice of God ; nor also 
that of Eve, who was not solemnly begotten, but suddenly 
framed,?and anomalously proceeded from Adam. 

And if we be led into conclusions that Adam had also this 
part, because we behold the same in ourselves, the inference 
is not reasonable ; for if we conceive the way of his forma- 
tion, or of the first animals, did carry in all points a strict 
conformity unto succeeding productions, we might fall into 
imaginations that Adam was made without teeth ; or that he 
ran through those notable alterations in the vessels of the 
heart, which the infant suffereth after birth : we need not 

maturity, retain. If so, Adam was ere- same work (p. 492,) Dr. B. also discus- 

ated with the marks of an earlier stage ses at some length Sir Thomas's chapter 

of existence, though he had never pass- on pygmies, (c. xi, hook IV.) See Ilel. 

ed through that stage. Med. p. 2. § 10, where Adam is called, 

Sir Thomas's opinion is cited and " the man without a navel." — Ross 

adopted by Dr. John Bulwer, in his deems the part in question to have been 

most curious work, entitled Anthropome- intended by the Creator merely for or- 

tnmorphosis : Man 2'raiisformi'd : or the nament ; in support of which opinion he 

Artificial Changling, Historically _ Pre- cites Canticles vii, 2!! 
sented, fyc. 4to. 1053. p. 401. ' in the 


dispute whether the egg or bird were first ; and might con- 
ceive that dogs were created blind, because we observe they 
are littered so with us. Which to affirm, is to confound, at 
least to regulate creation unto generation, the first acts of 
God, unto the second of nature ; which were determined in 
that general indulgence, increase and multiply, produce or 
propagate each other ; that is, not answerably in all points, 
but in a prolonged method according to seminal progression. 
For the formation of things at first was different from their 
generation after ; and although it had nothing to precede it, 
was aptly contrived for that which should succeed it. And 
therefore though Adam were framed without this part, as 
having no other womb than that of his proper principles, yet 
was not his posterity without the same ; for the seminality of 
his fabrick contained the power thereof; and was endued 
with the science of those parts whose predestinations upon 
succession it did accomplish. 

All the navel therefore and conjunctive part we can suppose 
in Adam, was his dependency on his Maker, and the con- 
nexion he must needs have unto heaven, who was the Son of 
God. For, holding no dependence on any preceding effi- 
cient but God, in the act of his production there may be 
conceived some connexion, and Adam to have been in a mo- 
mental navel with his Maker. 7 And although from his car- 
nality and corporal existence, the conjunction seemeth no 
nearer than of causality and effect ; yet in his immortal and 
diviner part he seemed to hold a nearer coherence, and an 
umbilicality even with God himself. And so indeed although 
the propriety of this part be found but in some animals, and 
many species there are which have no navel at all ; yet is there 
one link and common connexion, one general ligament, and 
necessary obligation of all whatever unto God. Whereby, 
although they act themselves at distance, and seem to be at 
loose, yet do they hold a continuity with their Maker. 
Which catenation or conserving union, whenever his pleasure 
shall divide, let go, or separate, they shall fall from their 

7 in a momental navel with his Maker.'] (or in an important sense, ) in a state of 
Momental ; important. " Substantially, connexion with bis Maker." 


existence, essence, and operations ; in brief, they must retire 
unto their primitive nothing, and shrink into their chaos 

They who hold the egg was before the bird, prevent this 
doubt in many other animals, which also extendeth unto 
them. For birds are nourished by umbilical vessels, and the 
navel is manifest sometimes a day or two after exclusion. 
The same is probable in all oviparous exclusions, if the lesser 
part of eggs must serve for the formation, the greater part for 
nutriment. The same is made out in the eggs of snakes ; 
and is not improbable in the generation of porwiggles or 
tadpoles, and may be also true in some vermiparous exclu- 
sions : although (as we have observed in the daily progress in 
some) the whole maggot is little enough to make a fly, without 
any part remaining. 8 


Of the Pictures of the Jews and Eastern Nations, at their 
Feasts, especially our Saviour at the Passover. 

Concerning the pictures of the Jews, and eastern nations at 
their feasts, concerning the gesture of our Saviour at the 
passover, who is usually described sitting upon a stool or 
bench at a square table, in the midst of the twelve, many 
make great doubt ; and (though they concede a table gesture) 
will hardly allow this usual way of session. 9 

Wherein, restraining no man's enquiry, it will appear that 
accubation, or lying down at meals was a gesture used by 
very many nations. That the Persians used it, beside the 
testimony of humane writers, is deducible from that passage in 
Esther.* " That when the king returned into the place of 
the banquet of wine, Haman was fallen upon the bed where- 

* Esther vii. 

8 They who hold, 8fc.~\ This paragraph Glasg. 1750. — Jeff. I give this refer- 
was first added in 2nd edition. ence, though I Lave not been able to 

9 session.] See Fenclon's Letter to avail myself of it. 
the French Academy ; § 8, p. 231. 


on Esther was." That the Parthians used it, is evident from 
Athengeus, who delivereth out of Possidonius, that their king 
lay down at meals, on an higher bed than others. 1 That 
Cleopatra thus entertained Anthony, the same author mani- 
fested, when he saith, she prepared twelve Tricliniums. 
That it was in use among the Greeks, the word triclinium 
implieth, and the same is also declarable from many places in 
the Symposiacks of Plutarch. That it was not out of fashion 
in the days of Aristotle, he declareth in his Politicks ; when 
among the institutionary rules of youth, he adviseth they 
might not be permitted to hear iambicks and tragedies before 
they were admitted unto discumbency or lying along with 
others at their meals. That the Romans used this gesture 
at repast, beside many more, is evident from Lipsius, Mer- 
curialis, Salmasius and Ciaconius, who have expressly and 
distinctly treated hereof. 

Now of their accumbing places, the one was called 
stibadion and sigma, carrying the figure of an half-moon, 
and of an uncertain capacity, whereupon it received the 
name of hexaclinon, octoclinon, according unto that of 

Accipe Lunata scriptum testudine sigma: 
Octo capit, veniat quisquis amicus erit. 

Hereat in several ages the left and right hand were the 
principal places, and the most honourable person, if he were 
not master of the feast, possessed one of those rooms. The 
other was termed triclinium, that is, three beds about a table, 
as may be seen in the figures thereof, and particularly in the 
Rhamnusian triclinium, set down by Mercurialis.* The cus- 
tomary use hereof was probably deduced from the frequent 
use of bathing, after which they commonly retired to bed, 
and refected themselves with repast; and so that custom by 
degrees changed their cubiculary beds into discubitor}', and 
introduced a fashion to go from the baths unto these. 

As for their gesture or position, the men lay down leaning 
on their left elbow, their back being advanced by some pil- 

* De Arte Gymnastica. 
1 That the Persians, Sfc.] This sentence was first added in the 2nd edition. 


low or soft substance: the second lay so with his back 
towards the first, that his head attained about his bosom; 2 
and the rest in the same order. For women, they sat some- 
times distinctly with their sex, sometimes promiscuously with 
men, according to affection or favour, as is delivered by 

Gremio jacuit nova nupta mariti. 

And by Suetonius, of Caligula, that at his feasts he placed 
his sisters, with whom he had been incontinent, successively 
in order below him. 

Again, as their beds were three, so the guests did not 
usually exceed that number in every one, according to the 
ancient laws, and proverbial observations to begin with the 
graces, and make up their feasts with the muses ; and there- 
fore it was remarkable in the Emperor Lucius Verus, that he 
lay down with twelve, which was, saith Julius Capitolinus, 
prceter exempla majorum, not according to the custom of his 
predecessors, except it were at public and nuptial suppers. 
The regular number was also exceeded in the last supper, 
whereat there were no less than thirteen, and in no place 
fewer than ten, for as Josephus delivereth, it was not lawful 
to celebrate the passover with fewer than that number. 3 

Lastly, for the disposing and ordering of the persons ; the 
first and middle beds were for the guests, the third and 
lowest for the master of the house and his family, he always 
lying in the first place of the last bed, that is, next the middle 
bed, but if the wife or children were absent, their rooms 
were supplied by the umbrce, or hangers on, according to 
that of Juvenal. 4 

Locus est et pluribus umbris. 

For the guests, the honourablest place in every bed was the 
first, excepting the middle or second bed, wherein the most 
honourable guest of the feast was placed in the last place, 
because by that position he might be next the master of the 

2 bosom.~\ See note S, p. 10S. ii, 8, 22 : "■ — quos Maecenas adduxerat 

3 the regular number, SfC.'] This sen- umbras," — " Porro et conviva ad ccenam 
tence first added in 2nd edition. dicitur OTiiccv suum adducere, cum amicum 

4 JuvenaU Not Juvenal, but Horace,) a u qucm non i nv itatum sccum adducit."— 
Epist. lib. i, S, 1. 2S. See also Ilor. Sal. pfal, 1 6. 


feast. * For the master lying in the first of the last bed, and 
the principal guest in the last place of the second, they must 
needs be next each other, as this figure dotli plainly declare, 
and whereby we may apprehend the feast of Perpenna made 
unto Sertorius, described by Sallustius, whose words we shall 
thus read with Salmasius : Igitur discubuere, Sertorius infe- 
rior in medio lecto, supra Fabius ; Antonius in summo ; Infra 
scriba Sertorii Versius ; alter scriba Meccenas in imo, medius 
inter Tarquitium et dominum Perpennam. 


-ouoj-j snmi'iifi 

2 2 | 

** S 35 

o 2 


8 s- 



shiutung snoo'j 

StlfOZtrj smpdj\[ 
snuofUdg (snnoioA snoo r j) smqvjj ,r j 


2 &a 
8 *♦* 

o s 



° a e 

*» 5s 

g S 

At this feast there were but seven, the middle places of 
the highest and middle bed being vacant, and hereat was 
Sertorius the general, and principal guest slain ; and so may 
we make out what is delivered by Plutarch in his life, that 
lying on his back and raising himself up, Perpenna cast him- 
self upon his stomach, which he might very well do, being 
master of the feast, and lying next unto him ; and thus also 

* Jul. Scalig. Familiarum Exercitationum Problema I. 


from this tricliniary disposure, we may illustrate that obscure 
expression of Seneca ; that the north wind was in the middle, 
the north-east on the higher side, and the north-west on the 
lower. For as appeareth in the circle of the winds, the north- 
east will answer the bed of Antonius, and the north-west 
that of Perpenna. 

That the custom of feasting upon beds was in use among 
the Hebrews, many deduce from Ezekiel,* " Thou sattest 
upon a stately bed, and a table prepared before it." The 
custom of discalceation or putting off their shoes at meals, 
is conceived to confirm the same ; as by that means keeping 
their beds clean : and therefore they had a peculiar charge 
to eat the passover with their shoes on; which injunc- 
tion were needless, if they used not to put them off. How- 
ever it were in times of high antiquity, probable it is that 
in after ages they conformed unto the fashions of the Assy- 
rians and eastern nations, and lastly of the Romans, being 
reduced by Pompey unto a provincial subjection. 5 

That this discumbency at meals was in use in the days of 
our Saviour, is conceived probable from several speeches of 
his expressed in that phrase, even unto common auditors, as 
Luke xiv, Cum invitatus fueris ad nuptias nan discumbas 
in primo loco; and, besides many more, Matthew xxiii. 
When reprehending the Scribes and Pharisees, he saith, 
Amant protoclisias, id est, primos recubitus in coenis, et 
protocathedrias, sive, primas cathedras, in synagogis ; where- 
in the terms are very distinct, and by an antithesis do plainly 
distinguish the posture of sitting, from this of lying on beds. 
The consent of the Jews with the Romans in other cere- 
monies and rites of feasting makes probable their conformity 
in this. The Romans washed, were anointed, and wore a 
cenatory garment : and that the same was practised by the 
Jews, is deducible from that expostulation of our Saviour 
with Simon,f that he washed not his feet, nor anointed his 
head with oil ; the common civilities at festival entertainments : 
and that expression of his concerning the cenatory or wed- 

* Ezek. xxiii. f Luke vii. 

* However it were, tyc. ] This sentence was first added in 2nd edition. 


ding garment ;* and as some conceive of the linen garment 
of the young man, or St. John ; which might be the same he 
wore the night before at the last supper. 6 

That they used this gesture at the psssover, is more than 
probable from the testimony of Jewish writers, and par- 
ticularly of Ben-Maimon recorded by Scaliger, De Emenda- 
tione temporimi. After the second cup according to the institu- 
tion, the son asketh, what meaneth this service ? f then he that 
maketh the declaration, saith, how different is this night from 
all other nights ? for all other nights we wash but once, but 
this night twice ; all other we eat leavened or unleavened 
bread, but this only leavened ; all other we eat flesh roasted, 
boiled, or baked, but this only roasted ; all other nights we 
eat together lying or sitting, but this only lying along. And 
this posture they used as a token of rest and security which 
they enjoyed, far different from that at the eating of the 
passover in Egypt. 

That this gesture was used when our Saviour eat the pas- 
sover, is not conceived improbable from the words whereby 
the Evangelists express the same, that is, avaviKrw, dvaxs?adai, 
xaraxs7ff@ou, dvaxXi^vai, which terms do properly signify this 
gesture, in Aristotle, Athenaeus, Euripides, Sophocles, and 
all humane authors ; and the like we meet with in the para- 
phrastical expression of Nonnus. 

Lastly, if it be not fully conceded, that this gesture was 
used at the passover, yet that it was observed at the last 
supper, seems almost incontrovertible : for at this feast or 
cenatory convention, learned men make more than one sup- 
per, or at least many parts thereof. The first was that legal 
one of the passover, or eating of the paschal lamb with bitter 
herbs, and ceremonies described by Moses.J Of this it is 
said, " Then when the even was come, he sat down with the 
twelve." § This is supposed when it is said, that the supper 
being ended, our Saviour arose, took a towel and washed the 
disciples' feet. The second was common and domestical, 
consisting of ordinary and undefined provisions ; of this it 

* Matt. xxii. f Exod. xii. J Matt. xxvi. § John xiii. 

6 the consent of the Jews, S ) -c.'] First added in 2nd edit. 


may be said, that our Saviour took his garment, and sat down 
again, after he had washed the disciples' feet, and performed 
the preparative civilities of suppers; at this 'tis conceived 
the sop was given unto Judas, the original word implying 
some broth or decoction, not used at the passover. The third 
or latter part was eucharistical, which began at the breaking 
and blessing of the bread, according to that of Matthew, 
"And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it." 

Now although, at the passover or first supper, many have 
doubted this reclining posture, and some have affirmed that 
our Saviour stood, yet that he lay down at the other, the 
same men have acknowledged, as Chrysostom,* Theophylact, 
Austin, and many more. And if the tradition will hold, the 
position is unquestionable ; for the very triclinium is to be 
seen at Rome, brought thither by Vespasian, and graphically 
set forth by Casalius. 7 

Thus may it properly be made out, what is delivered, John 
xiii ; Erat recumbens units ex discipulus ejus in sinu Jesu 
quern diligebat ; " Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom 
one of his disciples whom Jesus loved ;" which gesture will 
not so well agree unto the position of sitting, but is natural, 
and cannot be avoided in the laws of accubation. 8 And the 
very same expression is to be found in Pliny, concerning 
the emperor Nerva and Veiento whom he favoured ; Ccena- 
bat Nerva cum paucis, Veiento recumbebat propius atque 

* De Veterum Ritibus. 

? Lastly, if it be not, S)C.~\ This and scription of the table, &c. " The table 

the next paragraph were first added in being placed in the middest, round about 

the 2nd edition. the table were certain beds, sometimes 

8 which gesture, <^c] I am not aware two, sometimes three, sometimes more, 

whether our author had any authority according to the number of the guests ; 

for saying that "the back was advanced upon these they lay down in manner as 

by some pillow or soft substance." If it followeth : each bed contained three per- 

was so, John could not very conveniently sons, sometimes more, — seldom or never 

have leaned back upon the bosom of his more (qu.feu>er?J If one lay upon the 

master. It seems probable that each bed, then he rested the upper part of his 

person lay at an acute angle with the body upon the left elbow, the lower part 

line of the table, (as seems implied in lying at length upon the bed: but if 

the following quotation) in which case many lay on the bed, then the upper- 

the head of John, as our author observes, most did lie at the bed's head, laying his 

p. 104, would have attained to about his feet behinde the second's back : in like 

master's bosom. It must also (as it seems manner the third or fourth did lye, eacli 

to me) be supposed that the table was resting his head in the other's bosome. 

scarcely, if at all, higher than the level Thus John leaned on Jesus' bosom,'' Mo- 

of the couch. 1 subjoin Godwin's de- scs and Aaron, p, 93, 4to. 1667. 


etiam in sinu; and from this custom arose the word e-rtdTrfiiog, 
that is, a near and bosom friend. And therefore Casaubon* 
justly rejecteth Theophylact; 9 who not considering the ancient 
manner of decumbency, imputed this gesture of the beloved dis- 
ciple unto rusticity, or an act of incivility. And thus also, have 
some conceived it may be more plainly made out what is deli- 
vered of Mary Magdalen, that she " stood at Christ's feet be- 
hind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and 
did wipe them with the hairs of her head."f Which actions, 
if our Saviour sat, she could not perform standing, and had 
rather stood behind his back than at his feet. And therefore 
it is not allowable, what is observable in many pieces, and 
even of Raphael Urbin, wherein Mary Magdalen is pictured 
before our Saviour washing his feet on her knees, which will 
not consist with the strict description and letter of the text. 

Now, whereas this position may seem to be discountenanc- 
ed by our translation, which usually renders it sitting, it can- 
not have that illation : for the French and Italian translations, 
expressing neither position of session nor recubation, do only 
say that he placed himself at the table ; and when ours ex- 
presseth the same by sitting, it is in relation unto our custom, 
time, and apprehension. The like upon occasion is not un- 
usual : so when it is said, Luke iv, -rrv^ag rb fiiGTJov, and the 
vulgate renders it, cum plicasset librum, ours translateth it, he 
shut or closed the book ; which is an expression proper unto 
the paginal books of our times, but not so agreeable unto 
volumes or rolling books, in use among the Jews, not only in 
elder times, but even unto this day. So when it is said, the 
Samaritan delivered unto the host twopence for the provision 
of the Levite, and when our Saviour agreed with the labour- 
ers for a penny a day, in strict translation it should be seven- 
pence halfpenny, and is not to be conceived our common 
penny, the sixtieth part of an ounce. For the word in the 

* Not. in Evang. f Luke vii. 

9 Theophylact. ~\ Theophylact, bishop among the northern nations, gave the 

of Bulgary, lived 930th yeare ofChriste, bishop occasion to taxe the Jewish and 

in which time the empire being trans- Roman forme of lying as uncouth and 

lated into Germanye, and the maner of uncivil: every nation preferring their 

lying at all meales translated into the owne customes, and condemning all other 

maner of sitting, which was most used as barbarians.' — Wr, 


original is Sqvugiov, in Latin, denarius, and with the Romans did 
value the eighth part of an ounce, which, after five shillings 
the ounce, amounteth unto sevenpence halfpenny of our money. 

Lastly, whereas it might be conceived that they ate the 
passover, standing rather than sitting, or lying down, accord- 
ing to the institution, Exodus xii, " Thus shall you eat with 
your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in 
your hand ; " the Jews themselves reply, this was not requir- 
ed of succeeding generations, and was not observed but in 
the passover of Egypt. And so also many other injunctions 
were afterward omitted : as the taking up of the paschal 
lamb from the tenth day, the eating of it in their houses dis- 
persed, the striking of the blood on the door-posts, and the 
eating thereof in haste ; — solemnities and ceremonies primi- 
tively enjoined, afterward omitted ; as was also this of station : 
for the occasion ceasing, and being in security, they applied 
themselves unto gestures in use among them. 

Now in what order of recumbency Christ and the disciples 
were disposed, is not so easily determined. Casalius, from 
the Lateran triclinium, will tell us, that there being thirteen, 
five lay down in the first bed, five in the last, and three in the 
middle bed ; and that our Saviour possessed the upper place 
thereof. That John lay in the same bed seems plain, be- 
cause he leaned on our Saviour's bosom. That Peter made 
the third in that bed, conjecture is made, because he beckon- 
ed unto John, as being next him, to ask of Christ who it was 
that should betray him? That Judas was not far off, seems 
probable, not only because he dipped in the same dish, but 
because he was so near that our Saviour could hand the sop 
unto him. 1 

' Now in what order, ^-c] This paragraph was added in 2nd edition. 






Of the Picture of our Saviour with Long Hair. 

Another picture there is of our Saviour described with long 
hair, 2 according to the custom of the Jews, and his descrip- 
tion sent by Lentulus unto the senate. 3 Wherein indeed the 

2 Another picture, 8fC.~\ A very beau- 
tiful head of our Saviour has recently 
been engraved in mezzotint, by J. Rogers. 
It is a copy from a gem, said to have 
been executed by order of Tiberius Cse- 
sar, and subsequently to Pope Innocent 
VIII by the emperor of the Turks as a 
ransom for his brother. 

Another error has been noticed by 
some commentators in representing our 
Lord with a crown of long thorns, 
whereas it is supposed to have been made 
of the acanthus, or bears-foot, a prickly 
plant, very unlike a thorn. See Dr. 
Adam Clarke, in lob. 

3 his description sent by Lentulus, SfC.~\ 
Or rather said to have been sent by Len- 
tulus, &c. ; for this letter is now known 
to have been a forgery. The supposed 
author was a Roman governor of Syria; 
of whom it was pretended that he was a 
follower of our Lord, and that he gave a 
description of his person in a letter to 
the senate. This was however obviously 
insupposeable at a period when the go- 
vernors of provinces addressed the em- 
peror, and no longer the senate ; to say 
nothing of the style, which is by no 
means Augustan. The fact is, as has 
been remarked to me, that when publick 
opinion had been made up as to the pro- 
bable appearance of our Lord's person, 
this letter comes out to settle the point. 
In No. 7026-4 of the Harleian MSS. is 
preserved a copy of this letter, on vellum, 
in the beautiful handwriting of the cele- 
brated German dwarf. Math. Buchinger, 
which he sent to his patron, Lord Ox- 
ford. It contains also a portrait agreeing 
with the description given in the letter. 
This letter has been translated into Eng- 
lish, and occurs, Christ. Mag. 1764, 
p. 455, and other places. 

Perhaps the most celebrated of the re- 
puted original portraits of the Redeemer, 

is that said to have been received by 
Abgarus, King of Edessa, mentioned by 
Evagrius. Eusebius gives a letter sent 
by the said Abgar to Jesus Christ, pro- 
fessing the conviction which the Redeem- 
er's miracles had wrought in his mind 
of the divine character of our Lord, and 
entreating him to come to Edessa and 
cure a disease under which the king 
had long laboured ; — together with our 
Lord's answer, declining to come, but 
promising to send a disciple to heal the 
king. For these letters see Hone's Apoc- 
ryphal New Testament. In his Every- 
day Book, Jan. 13th, he gives a wood- 
cut of the portrait. In the London 
Literary Gazette of Nov. 29, 1834, is a 
much better account of the circumstance, 
in a review of Baron Hubbojfs History 
of Armenia, published -by the Oriental 
Translation Society. I subjoin his account 
of the picture. " Abgar sent a painter 
to take the likeness of the Saviour, if he 
would not vouchsafe to visit Edessa. The 
painter made many vain attempts to draw 
a correct likeness of our Saviour. But 
Jesus, being willing to satisfy the desire 
of King Abgar, took a clean handker- 
chief and applied it to his countenance. 
In that same hour, by a miraculous 
power, his features and likeness were 
represented on the handkerchief." The 
picture thus miraculously produced, is 
said to have been the means of deliver- 
ing the city from the siege laid to it by 
Chosroes, the Persian, 500 years after- 
wards. Thaddeus went to Edessa after 
Christ's ascension and healed Abgar. 

See also Mr. W. Liuttmarts Life of 
Christ, where will be found a copious 
account of the portrait of Jesus Christ, 
published in prints, coins, &c. Mr. 
Huttman spells the name of the King of 
Edessa, Agbar. 


hand of the painter is not accusable, but the judgment of the 
common spectator: conceiving he observed this fashion of 
his hair, because he was a Nazarite ; and confounding a 
Nazarite by vow, with those by birth or education. 

The Nazarite by vow is declared, Numbers vi ; and was 
to refrain three things, drinking of wine, cutting the hair, and 
approaching unto the dead ; and such an one was Sampson. 
Now that our Saviour was a Nazarite after this kind, we have 
no reason to determine ; for he drank wine, and was there- 
fore called by the Pharisees, a wine-bibber ; he approached 
also the dead, as when he raised from death Lazarus, and 
the daughter of Jairus. 

The other Nazarite was a topical appellation, and applia- 
ble unto such as were born in Nazareth, a city of Galilee, and 
in the tribe of Napthali. Neither, if strictly taken, was our 
Saviour in this sense a Nazarite, for he was born in Bethle- 
hem in the tribe of Judah ; but might receive that name 
because he abode in that city, and was not only conceived 
therein, but there also passed the silent part of his life after 
his return from Egypt ; as is delivered by Matthew, " And 
he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be 
fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, he shall be called 
a Nazarene." Both which kinds of Nazarites, as they are 
distinguishable by Zain, and Tsade in the Hebrew, so in the 
Greek, by Alpha and Omega : for, as Jansenius observeth,* 
where the votary Nazarite is mentioned, it is written, N«£a- 
gatog, as Levit. vi and Lament, iv. Where it is spoken of our 
Saviour, we read it, Na&wga&g, as in Matthew, Luke, and 
John ; only Mark, who writ his gospel at Rome, did Latin- 
ize and wrote it Na^agjjvog. 

* Jans. Concordia Evamsclica. 



Of the Picture of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. 

In the picture of the immolation of Isaac, or Abraham sacrifi- 
cing his son, Isaac is described as a little boy ; 4 which not- 
withstanding is not consentaneous unto the authority of 
expositors, or the circumstance of the text. For therein it is 
delivered that Isaac carried on his back the wood for the 
sacrifice, which being an holocaust or burnt-offering to be 
consumed unto ashes, we cannot well conceive a burthen for 
a boy ; but such a one unto Isaac, as that which it typified 
was unto Christ, that is, the wood or cross whereon he suf- 
fered, which was too heavy a load for his shoulders, and was 
fain to be relieved therein by Simon of Cyrene. 5 

Again he was so far from a boy, that he was a man grown, 
and at his full stature, if we believe Josephus, who placeth 
him in the last of adolescency, and makes him twenty-five 
years old. And whereas in the vulgar translation he is term- 
ed puer, 6 it must not be strictly apprehended, (for that age 
properly endeth in puberty, and extendeth but unto fourteen,) 

4 as a little boy.] More absurd re- to the subject to which it relates : as when 
presentations have been made of this it relates to a lord and master it signifies 
event. Bourgoanne notices a painting a servant, and is to bee soe translated : 
in Spain where Abraham is preparing to where itt relates to a father itt signifyes a 
shoot Isaac with a pistol ! Phil. Rohr, sonne. The old translation is therefore 
(Pictor Errans,) mentions one in which herein faulty, which takes the word in 
Abraham's weapon was a sword. the prime grammatical sense for a child, 

5 too heavy a load, ^c] Some paint- which is not always true. In the 4th 
ers have accordingly represented Christ cap. of the Acts, vers. 25. itt renders 
and Simon of Cyrene as both employed AaBiS rou-xaidog Gov, David pueri tui, 
in carrying the cross— some have sup- and inthe mh lgg ^ & ffou'Ljtfouvpuerum 
posed as Lipsms notices, that only a part . T , , ,, 

K , . , X. .. a \ r ..l. tuum Iesum, in both places absurdly : 

(probably the transverse portion) of the ,. , _, ', . K. . . J 

vr ' . , r .A t- ■• which Beza observed and corrected ; ren- 

cross was borne by our Lord. — Limn ■,.,„,. , j 

Opera, vol. iii, p. 658. J"?^ lh * fil 'f b * tb f word s ? r .?*, nt ' a "J 

6puer.] In the Greeke the word he lat " b * tb t word sonne nghtlye and 
r v.-,. J ,. , learnedlye. — Wr. 

\tfaig J is ambiguous and, as wee say, po- 

lysemon, signifying diverselye according 



but respectively unto Abraham, who was at that time above 
six score. And therefore also herein he was not unlike unto 
him, who was after led dumb unto the slaughter, and com- 
manded by others, who had legions at command ; that is, in 
meekness and humble submission. For had he resisted, it 
had not been in the power of his aged parent to have en- 
forced ; and many at his years have performed such acts, as 
few besides at any. David was too strong for a lion and a 
bear ; Pompey had deserved the name of Great ; Alexander 
of the same cognomination was generalissimo of Greece ; and 
Annibal, but one year after, succeeded Asdrubal in that me- 
morable war against the Romans. 


Of the Picture of Moses with Horns, 

In many pieces, and some of ancient bibles, Moses is describ- 
ed with horns. 7 The same description we find in a silver 
medal; that is, upon one side Moses horned, and on the 
reverse the commandment against sculptile images. Which 
is conceived to be a coinage of some Jews, in derision of 
Christians, who first began that portrait. 8 

The ground of this absurdity was surely a mistake of the 
Hebrew text, in the history of Moses when he descended 
from the mount, upon the affinity of kceren and Jcaran that, 
is, an horn, and to shine, which is one quality of horn. 
The vulgar translation conforming unto the former ; Ignorabat 
quod comuta esset fades ejus.* Qui videbantfaciem Mosis 
esse cornutam. But the Chaldee paraphrase, translated by 
Paulus Fagius, hath otherwise expressed it: Moses nesciebat 
quod multus esset splendor glorice vidtus ejus. Et viderunt 

* Exod. xxxiv, 29, 30. 

7 In many pieces, $fc.~\ And in Michael 8 The same description, §c.~\ This sen- 
Angelo's Statue of Moses in St. Peter's tence was first added in 2nd edition, 
at Rome. 


filii Israel quod multa esset claritas glories faciei Mosis. 9 
The expression of the septuagint is as large, SsSp'gatfra/ n <H"S 
rov xgwparog rov 7rgoau>7rov, Glorificatus est aspectus cutis, seu 
coloris faciei. 

And this passage of the Old Testament is well explained 
by another of the New; wherein it is delivered, that "they 
could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses,"* &a r%v 86%av 
row vrgotuirov, that is, for the glory of his countenance. And 
surely the exposition of one text is best performed by ano- 
ther ; * men vainly interposing their constructions, where the 
Scripture decideth the controversy. And therefore some 
have seemed too active in their expositions, who in the story 
of Rahab the harlot, have given notice that the word also 
signifieth an hostess ; for in the epistle to the Hebrews, she 
is plainly termed tfogvjj, 2 which signifies not an hostess, but a 
pecuniary and prostituting harlot f a term applied unto Lais by 
the Greeks, and distinguished from Iratea, or arnica, as may 
appear in the thirteenth of Athenaeus. 

And therefore more allowable is the translation of Tre- 
mellius, quod splendida facta esset cutis faciei ejus ; or as 
Estius hath interpreted it, fades ejus erat radiosa, his face 
was radiant, and dispersing beams like many horns and cones 
about his head ; which is also consonant unto the original 
signification, and yet observed in the pieces of our Saviour, 

* 2 Cor. iii, 13. f What kind of harlot she was, read Camar. de Vita Elite. 

9 But the Chaldee, S j -c.'] First added by keeping a house of entertainment for 

Sn 2nd edition. strangers." He proceeds however in this 

1 another.'] This is a golden rule, as criticism, on a principle which he has else- 
necessary as infallible. — Wr. where laid down, "that the writers of 

2 in the epistle, <^c] Dr. Adam the New Testament scarcely ever quote 
Clarke (on Joshua ii, 2,) admitting that the Old Testament, but from the Septua- 
TOgw) generally signifies a prostitute, con- gint translation ;" thus he contents him- 
tends nevertheless that it might not have self with a rabbinical version of the 
been used in that sense here : he asks LXX— and to that interpretation would 
why the derived meaning of the word, bind tne apostle. 

from TTOgi/aw, to sell, may not have refer- Dr - Gil1 notices the rabbinical authori- 

ence to goods, as well as to person ? In tl f} n J? ™°? the inter P retation ado P t " 

that sense he observes the Chaldee Tar- * d b ? Dr " Clarke ' but remarks that the 

gum understood the word, and in their ^ ews T™ 1 ? take Rahab , . t0 b f a har " 

translation gave it accordingly the mean- ! ? 1 ; and that S enerall y speaking, in those 

ing of a tavern keeper. He concludes , tlmes and countlle . s such as y kept public 

rather a long article by saying, « it is bous f were P lostltutes - . He no , t,ces the 

most likely that she was a single woman, ( ? reek versl0n a 1 d de « dedl y leans t0 

or widow, who got her bread honestly, the usual acce P tatlon of tlie term - 

I 2 


and the Virgin Mary, who are commonly drawn with scintil- 
lations, or radiant halos about their head ; which, after the 
French expression, are usually termed the glory. 

Now if, besides this occasional mistake, any man shall con- 
tend a propriety in this picture, and that no injury is done 
unto truth by this description, because an horn is the hiero- 
glyphick of authority, power, and dignity, and in this meta- 
phor is often used in Scripture ; the piece I confess in this 
acception is harmless and agreeable unto Moses ; and, under 
such emblematical constructions, we find that Alexander the 
Great, and Attila king of the Huns, in ancient medals are 
described with horns. But if from the common mistake, or 
any solary consideration, we persist in this description, we 
vilify the mystery of the irradiation, and authorize a danger- 
ous piece, conformable unto that of Jupiter Amnion ; which 
was the sun, and therefore described with horns, as is 
delivered by Macrobius ; Hammonem quern Deum solem oc- 
cidentem Libyes existimant, arietinis cornibus jingunt, quibus 
id animal valet, sicut radiis sol. We herein also imitate 
the picture of Pan, and pagan emblem of nature. And if 
(as Macrobius and very good authors concede) Bacchus, (who 
is also described with horns,) be the same deity with the sun ; 
and if (as Vossius well contendeth)* Moses and Bacchus 
were the same person ; their descriptions must be relative, or 
the tauricornous picture of the one, perhaps the same with 
the other. 3 

* De Origine Idololatriee. 

3 any solary consideration.] Solary, Taylor, in his Holy Dying, p. 17, de- 

' relating to the sun.' — The Hebrew scribes the rising sun, as " peeping over 

word used in this passage signifies to the eastern hills, thrusting out his golden 

shoot forth, and may be applied perhaps horns, Sfc." — Jeff. 
to rays of light, as well as to horns. Bp. 



Of the Scutcheons of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. 

We will not pass over the scutcheons of the tribes of Israel, 
as they are usually described in the maps of Canaan and 
several other pieces ; generally conceived to be the proper 
coats, and distinctive badges of their several tribes. So 
Reuben is conceived to bear three bars wave, Judah a lion 
rampant, Dan a serpent nowed, Simeon a sword impale, the 
point erected, &c* The ground whereof is the last benedic- 
tion of Jacob, wherein he respectively draweth comparisons 
from things here represented. 

Now herein although we allow a considerable measure of 
truth, yet whether, as they are usually described, these were 
the proper cognizances, and coat-arms of the tribes ; whether 
in this manner applied, and upon the grounds presumed, 
material doubts remain. 

For first, they are not strictly made out from the prophe- 
tical blessing of Jacob ; for Simeon and Levi have distinct 
coats, that is, a sword, and the two tables, yet are they by 
Jacob included in one prophecy; "Simeon and Levi are 
brethren, instruments of cruelty are in their habitations." 
So Joseph beareth an ox, whereof notwithstanding there is 
no mention in this prophecy ; for therein it is said, " Joseph 
is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well ; " 
by which repetition are intimated the two tribes descen- 
ding from him, Ephraim and Manasses ; whereof notwith- 
standing Ephraim only beareth an ox. True it is, that 
many years after, in the benediction of Moses, it is said of 
Joseph, " His glory is like the firstlings of his bullock:" and 
so we may concede, what Vossius learnedly declareth, that 
the /Egyptians represented Joseph in the symbol of an ox ; 

* Gen. xlix. 


for thereby was best implied the dream of Pharaoh, which 
he interpreted, the benefit by agriculture, and provident 
provision of corn which he performed ; and therefore did 
Serapis bear a bushel upon his head. 

Again, if we take these two benedictions together, the 
resemblances are not appropriate, and Moses therein con- 
forms not unto Jacob ; for that which in the prophecy of 
Jacob is appropriated unto one, is in the blessing of Moses 
made common unto others. So, whereas Judah is compared 
unto a lion by Jacob, Judah is a lion's whelp, the same is 
applied unto Dan by Moses, " Dan is a lion's whelp, he shall 
leap from Bashan ; " and also unto Gad, " he dwelleth as a 

Thirdly, if a lion were the proper coat of Judah, yet were 
it not probably a lion rampant, as it is commonly described, but 
rather couchant or dormant, as some heralds and rabbins do 
determine, according to the letter of the text, Recumbens 
dormisti nt leo, "He couched as a lion, and as a young- 
lion, who shall rouse him ? " 

Lastly, when it is said, " Every man of the children of 
Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of 
their father's house;"* upon enquiry what these standards 
and ensigns were, there is no small incertainty, and men con- 
form not unto the prophecy of Jacob. Christian expositors 
are fain herein to rely upon the rabbins, who notwithstand- 
ing are various in their traditions, and confirm not these com- 
mon descriptions. For as for inferior ensigns, either of par- 
ticular bands or houses, they determine nothing at all ; and 
of the four principal or legionary standards, that is, of Judah, 
Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan, (under every one whereof march- 
ed three tribes,) they explain them very variously. Jonathan, 
who compiled the Targum, conceives the colours of these 
banners to answer the precious stones in the breast-plate, 
and upon which the names of the tribes were engraven.f So 
the standard for the camp of Judah was of three colours, 
according unto the stones, chalcedony, sapphire, and sardo- 

* Num. ii. 

f The like also P. i'agius upon the Targum or Chaldee Paraphrase 

of Onkelos, Num. i. 


nyx; and therein were expressed the names of the three 
tribes, Judah, Issachar, and Zabulon; and in the midst 
thereof was written, "Rise up, Lord, and let thy enemies be 
scattered; and let them that hate thee, flee before thee :"* in it 
was also the portrait of a lion. The standard of Reuben was 
also of three colours, sardine, topaz, and amethyst ; therein 
were expressed the names of Reuben, Simeon, and Gad^in 
the midst was written, " Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, 
the Lord is one ;" f therein was also the portraiture of a 
hart. But Abenezra and others, beside the colours of the 
field, do set down other charges, in Reuben's the form of a 
man or mandrake, in that of Judah a lion, in Ephraim's an 
ox, in Dan's the figure of an eagle. 

And thus indeed the four figures in the banners of the 
principal squadrons of Israel, are answerable unto the cheru- 
bims in the vision of Ezekiel ; J every one carrying the form of 
all these. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had 
the likeness of the face of a man, and the face of a lion on the 
right side, and they four had the face of an ox on the left 
side, they four had also the face of an eagle. And conform- 
able hereunto the pictures of the evangelists (whose gospels 
are the Christian banners) are set forth with the addition of 
a man or angel, an ox, a lion, and an eagle. And these sym- 
bolically represent the office of angels and ministers of God's 
will, in whom is required understanding as in a man, courage 
and vivacity as in the lion, sen ice and ministerial officiousness 
as in the ox, expedition or celerity of execution as in the 
eagle. 4 

* Num. x. f Deut. vi. % Ezek. i. 

4 eagle."} The reasons which the fa- all the rest, hath therefore that bird set 

thers give of these emblems is excellent by him. They were shortly, but excel- 

and proper. St. Matthew insists on lently expresst by these four emblems at 

those prophecyes in Christ, and therefore the pedestall of Prince Henrye's pillar, 

hath an angel, as itt were revealing those each of them in a scroll uttering these 

things to him. St. Marke insists most four wordes, which make up a verse, 

upon his workes of wonder and miracles, Expecto, by the angel, impavidus, by the 

and therefore hathe the lyon of Judah lion, paiienter, by the oxe, dum renova- 

by him. St. Luke is most copious in bor, by the eagle. — Wr. 

those storyes which set forthe his passive The dean's expose reminds us of that 

obedience, and therefore hathe the beast of Victorinus, Bishop of Petau, mention- 

of sacrifice by him. And lastly, St. Johr, ed by Dr. Clarke, (in his Concise View 

whose gospel sores like the eagle up to of the Succession of Sacred Literature, 

heaven, and expresses the divinity cf &c. p. 199, vol. i.) In his Comment on 

Christe in such a sublime manner above the 4th chap, of Rev. v. 6, 7, the bishop 


From hence, therefore, we may observe that these descrip- 
tions, the most authentic of any, are neither agreeable unto 
one another, nor unto the scutcheons in question. For 
though they agree in Ephraim and Judah, that is, the ox and 
the lion, yet do they differ in those of Dan and Reuben, as 
far as an eagle is different from a serpent, and the figure of a 
man, hart, or mandrake, from three bars wave. Wherein 
notwithstanding we rather declare the incertainty of arms in 
this particular, 5 than any way question their antiquity ; for 
hereof more ancient examples there are than the scutcheons 
of the tribes, if Osyris, Mizraim, or Jupiter the Just, were the 
son of Cham ; for of his two sons, as Diodorus delivereth, 

remarks: — "The four living creatures 
are the four gospels. The lion denotes 
Mark, in whom the voice of a lion, roar- 
ing in the wilderness, is heard; the voice 
of one that crieth in the wilderness, fyc. 
Matthew, who has the resemblance of 
a man, endeavours to shew us the family 
of Mary, from whom Christ took flesh ; 
he speakes of him as a man ; the book 
of the generations, Sfc. Luke, who re- 
lates the priesthood of Zecharias offer- 
ing sacrifice for the people, &c. has the 
resemblance of a calf. John, like an 
eagle with outstretched wings soaring 
aloft, speaks concerning the Word of 
God, &c." But here we find various 
opinions ; for while St. Jerome, in his 
Commentary on Matthew, and Gregory 
in his 4th Homily on Ezekiel, give the 
same version as Victorinus, St. Augus- 
tine assigns the man to Mark, and the 
lion to Matthew. And the dean, in the 
preceding note, follows those who re- 
gard Matthew's man to have been an 

5 the incertainty of arms in this par- 
ticular.] Not a few of our antiquarian 
writers, theologians, as well as heralds, 
have been anxious to trace the origin of 
heraldry to the Bible. Bishop Hall, in 
his Impresse of God, says, "If the tes- 
tament of the patriarchs had as much 
credit as antiquity, all the patriarchs had 
their armes assigned them by Jacob : 
Judah a lyon, Dan a serpent, Nepthali an 
hinde, Benjamin a wolf, Joseph a bough, 
and so of the rest." Works, fol. 1G48, 
p. 406, E. 

In Mr. Jefferson's copy occurs the fol- 
lowing MS, note. " Sir John Prestwick, 
'"" v is MS. history of the noble family of 

Chichester, derives the practice of he- 
raldry from Gen. i, 14. ' Let them be 
for signs,' — which he refers to heraldic 

Sylvanus Morgan begins with the cre- 
ation; " deducing from the principles of 
nature " his Sphere of Gentry, which he 
divides into four books, the first entitled 
Adam's shield, or nobility native ; the 
2nd, Joseph's coat, or nobility dative, 
&c. In the latter he gives a curiously 
engraven representation, and a descrip- 
tion of Joseph's whole achievement ; his 
coat being per Jesse imbatled Argent and 
Gules out of a Well a Tree growing Pro- 
per, ensigned with a Helmet of a Knight 
thereon, out of a crown Mural Gules, a 
Wheatsheaf Or ; his Mantles being of 
three sorts : the outmost being that of the 
gown, being cloth of gold lined with Er- 
mine, Erminees, Erminois, and Erminets; 
the next being that of the Cloak, accom- 
panying him in all his adversities, being 
lined Vaire, Fairy, and Cuppa; the out- 
side Purple : the third being the Mantle 
for his funeral, being mantled Sable, lin- 
ed Argent; his Motto, Nee Sorli nee 
Fato: having his wife's armes in an In- 
Escutcheon, she being the daughter and 
heir of Potiphar, Prince and Priest of 
On : his Sword and Girdle on the left 
side. Thus he is a publick person, 
conferring honours by Nobility Dative 
to his brethren ! !" — Sphere of Gentry, 
book ii, p. 72. Alas ! for poor Joseph's 
coat of many colours, to be thus blazon- 
ed ! 

Master Morgan, in setting forth the 
Camp of Israel, seemeth not less exactly 
informed as to the precise bearing of each 
tribe. (Ibid. p. 78.) 


the one for his device gave a dog, the other a wolf. And, 
beside the shield of Achilles, and many ancient Greeks, if we 
receive the conjecture of Vossius, that the crow upon Corvi- 
nus' head was but the figure of that animal upon his helmet, 
it is an example of antiquity among the Romans. 

But more widely must we walk if we follow the doctrine of 
the Cabalists, who in each of the four banners inscribe a 
letter of the tetragrammaton, or quadriliteral name of God ; 
and mysterizing their ensigns, do make the particular ones 
of the twelve tribes, accomrnodable unto the twelve signs in 
the zodiack, and twelve months in the year ; but the tetrarchi- 
cal or general banners of Judah, Reuben, Ephraim, and Dan, 5 

Judah bare Gules, a Lyon couchant or, ©SBt. 

Zabulun's black Ship 's like to a man of vvarr. 

Issachar's Asse between two burthens girt, 
As Dan's Sly Snake lies in a field of vert. flovtf) 

Ashur with azure a Cup of Gold sustains, 

And Nepthali's Hind trips o'er the flowry plains. 
Epi-iraim's strong Ox lyes with the couchant Hart, 2133egt. 

Manasseh's Tree its branches doth impart. 

Benjamin's Wolfe in the field gules resides, 
Reuben's field argent and blew Barrs Waved glides. §>0Utt). 

Simeon doth beare the Sword : and in that manner 

Gad having pitched his Tent sets up his Banner. 

Unfortunately, however, as our author several other writers have taken pains to 
shrewdly remarks, the" descriptions" of establish the same theory. General Val- 
the conoscenti are not "agreeable unto lancy, in his chapter on the astronomy of 
one another." Andrew Favine, in his the ancient Irish ; i.e. Collectanea de Re- 
Theater of Honor and Knighthood, fol. bus Hibernicis, vol. VI, ch. ix,) proposes 
1623, p. 4, perfectly agrees with Mor- a scheme, which Dr. Hales has adopted, 
gan as to the antiquity of armes and with some alterations, in his Chronology, 
blazons, which he does not hesitate to vol. ii. At still greater length has Sir 
say " have been in use from the creation Wm. Drummond investigated the sub- 
of the world." But when he descends ject, in a paper on Gen. xlix, in the Clas- 
to particulars, their disagreement is in- sical Journal, vol. iii, p. 387. But here 
stantly apparent. To say nothing of again the authorities are at issue. Sir 
tinctures, half the bearings are different. William thus arranges his zodiack : — 
Favine makes Judah's lyon rampant in- Reuben, Aquarius ; Simeon and Levi, 
stead of couchant; Reuben bears an arm- Pisces; Judah, Leo ; Zebulun, Capri- 
ed man, instead of the bars wavy; in corn; Issachar, Cancer; Dan, Scorpius ; 
Ephraim's standard he omits the hart ; Gad, Aries ; Asher, Libra ; Naphthali, 
to Simeon he assigns two swords instead Virgo ; Joseph, Taurus ; Benjamin, Ge- 
oione; to Gad a sword instead of a ban- mini; Manasseh, Sagittarius. General 
ner ; (though I suspect the description Valiancy on the other hand assigns to 
of Morgan intended a sword, but the Simeon and Levi the sign Gemini, to 
artist, misunderstanding his doggrel, has Zebulon, Cancer ; to Issacher, Taurus ; 
drawn a banner;) to Manasseh a crown- to Naphthali, Aries; to Joseph, Virgo; 
ed sceptre instead of a tree ; and to Dan, and to Benjamin, Capricorn; omitting 
ears of corn instead of a cup of gold. Gad, Asher, and Manasseh. Dr. Hales 

5 do make the particular ones, ^-c] also omits Manasseh, but places Gad in 

Browne most probably alludes to the Pisces, Asher in Virgo, and Joseph in 

opinion of Kircher on this point. But Sagittarius. There are other variations. 


unto the signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricornus ; * 
that is, the four cardinal parts of the zodiack and seasons 
of the year. 6 


Of the Pictures of the Sybils. 

The pictures of the sybils are very common, and for their 
prophecies of Christ in high esteem with Christians ; describ- 
ed commonly with youthful faces, and in a defined number. 
Common pieces making twelve, and many precisely ten ; ob- 
serving therein the account of Varro, that is, Sibylla Del- 
phica, Erythrcea, Samia, Cumana, Cumcea, or Cimmeria, 
Hellespontiaca, Libyca, Phrygia, Tiburtina, Persica. In 
which enumeration I perceive learned men are not satisfi- 
ed, and many conclude an irreconcilable incertainty ; some 
making more, others fewer, and not this certain number. 
For Suidas, though he affirm that in divers ages there were 
ten, yet the same denomination he affordeth unto more ; Boy- 

* Rectus de Caelesti Agricidiura, lib iv. 

Some have given Levi an open bough, the probability of his favourite theory, 
The banner of Gad, which in Morgan he commences by endeavouring to prove 
bears a lion, is also given green, and with- that the patriarchs were tinctured with 
out any device. Reuben has sometimes polytheism, and addicted to divination 
a mandrake, instead of the bars or the and astrology ; and arrives, in the space 
armed man. Dan's serpent is sometimes of half a dozen sentences, at the absurd 
noived, sometimes curled. Manasseh has and revolting conclusion, that Jacob was 
sometimes an ox, and Ephraim an uni- an astrologer, who believed himself un- 
corn or a bough. But enough of this, der the influence of the planet Saturn ! 
Further examination of the various fanci- To what lengths will not some men go in 
ful speculations of critics and antiquaries, support of a favourite hypothesis, how- 
whether heraldic or astronomical, will ever fanciful ! What would be our feel- 
only confirm our author's conclusion, ings of indignation against him who 
"of the incertainty of arms," and the should demolish the classical remains of 
irreconcilable discrepancy of those who Grecian antiquity, to make way for the 
have written on the subjects of the pre- vagaries of modern architecture? Less 
sent chapter ; — quot homines, tot sen- deep by far, than when we are asked to 
tentice ; and how should it be otherwise sacrifice the hallowed and beautiful sirn- 
in a case where nothing can be known, plicity of Scripture narrative to the base 
and any thing may therefore be conjee- figments of rabbinical tradition, or the 
tured ? Before I close this note, however, gratuitous assumptions of such critics as 
I must be allowed to protest against Sir Sir Wm. Drummond. 
Wm. Diummond's mode of conducting <"> But more widely, f-c] First added 
his enquiry. With a view of enhancing in 2nd edition. 


sardus, in his tract of Divination, hath set forth the icons of 
these ten, yet addeth two others, Epirotica and /Egyptia ; 
and some affirm that prophesying women were generally 
named sibyls. 

Others make them fewer : Martianus Capella two ; Pliny 
and Solinus three ; iElian four ; and Salmasius in effect but 
seven. For discoursing hereof in his Plinian Exercitations, 
he thus determineth ; Ridere licet hodiernos pictores, qui 
tabulas proponunt Cumance, Cumcece et Erythrcece, quasi 
trium diversarum sibyllarum ; cum una eademque fuerit Cu- 
mana, Cumcea, et Erythrcea, ex plurium et doctissimorum 
authorum sententia. Boysardus gives us leave to opinion 
there was no more than one ; for so doth he conclude, In 
tanta scriptorum varietate liberum relinquimus lectori cre- 
dere, an una et eadem in diversis regionibus peregrinata, 
cognomen sortita sit ab its locis ubi oracida reddidisse com- 
peritur, an <plures extiterint : and therefore not discovering a 
resolution of their number from pens of the best writers, we 
have no reason to determine the same from the hand and 
pencil of painters. 

As touching their age, that they are generally described as 
young women, history will not allow ; for the sibyl whereof 
Virgil speaketh, is termed by him longceva sacerdos, and 
Servius, in his comment, amplifieth the same. The other, 
that sold the books unto Tarquin, and whose history is 
plainer than any, by Livy and Gellius is termed amis ; that 
is, properly no woman of ordinary age, but full of years, and 
in the days of dotage, according to the etymology of Festus,* 
and consonant unto the history, wherein it is said, that Tarquin 
thought she doated with old age. Which duly perpended, 
the licentia pictoria is very large ; with the same reason they 
may delineate old Nestor like Adonis, Hecuba with Helen's 
face, and time with Absolom's head. But this absurdity thai 
eminent artist, Michael Angelo, hath avoided, in the pictures 
of the Cumean and Persian sybils, as they stand described 
from the printed sculptures of Adam Mantuanus. 7 

* Amis, quasi Avovc, sine mente. 

7 Mantuanus.'] On the subject of this Abbe Pluche, Hist, du del, Vol. i, p. 
chapter, the origin of the Sybils, see the 2G3. — Jeff. 



[book V. 


Of the Picture describing the death of Cleopatra. 

The picture concerning the death of Cleopatra, with two 
asps or venomous serpents unto her arms or breasts, or both, 
requires consideration : 8 for therein (beside that this variety 
is not excusable) the thing itself is questionable ; nor is it in- 

8 The picture, SfC.~\ " An ancient en- 
caustic pictute of Cleopatra has lately 
been discovered, and detatched from a 
wall, in which it had been hidden for 
centuries, and supposed to be a real por- 
trait, painted by a Greek artist. It is 
done on blue slate. The colouring is 
fresh, very like life. She is represented 
applying the aspic to her bosom." Ex- 
tract from a Letter from Paris ; Phil. 
Gaz. Nov. 27, 1822.— Jeff. 

The preceding notice refers in all pro- 
bability to the painting which was after- 
wards brought over to England by its 
possessor, Signor Micheli, who valued it 
at £10,000. He caused an engraving of 
it to be executed, which I have had an 
opportunity of seeing, in the hands of R. 
R. Reinagle, Esq. R. A. by whose kind- 
ness I have also been favoured with the 
following very full and interesting histo- 
ry and description of this curious work 
of art, in compliance with my request: 
" 17, Fitzroy Square, Dec. 2, 1834. 

" Sir, — The painting was done on a 
species of black slaty marble — was brok- 
en in two or three places. It was said 
by the Chev. Micheli, the proprietor, 
who brought it from Florence to this 
country, that it had been found in the 
recesses of a great wine cellar, where 
other fragments of antiquity had been de- 
posited. That it was in a very thick 
case of wood nearly mouldered away. 
That it got into a broker's hands, by 
the major domo of the house or palace 
where it was discovered, having sold a 
parcel of insignificant lumber, so called, 
in which this painting was found. It 
was generally incrusted with a sort of 
tartar and decomposed varnish, which 

was cleared off by certain eminent che- 
mists of Florence. Parts of the colouring 
were scraped off and analysed by three 
or four persons. Formal attestations 
were made by them before the consti- 
tuted authorities, and the documents had 
the stamps of authorized bodies and signa- 
tures. The colours were found to be all 
mineral, and few in number. The red was 
the synopia of Greece ; another laky red, 
put over the red mantle Cleopatra wore, 
was of a nature not discovered ; — It had 
the look of Venetian glazed red lake, 
of the crimson colour ; — the white was a 
calx, but I forget of what nature ; — the 
yellow was of the nature of Naples yel- 
low — it seemed a vitrification; — there 
was also yellow ochre ; — the black was 
charcoal. The green curtain was es- 
teemed terra verd of Greece, passed over 
with some unknown enriching yellow 
colour. The hair was deep auburn co- 
lour, and might be mangenese ; — the 
curls, elaborately made out, were finished 
hair by hair, with vivid curved lines on 
the lighted parts, of the bright yellow 
golden colour. The necklace consisted 
of various stones set in gold : the amulet 
was of gold, and a chain twice or thrice 
round her right wrist. She wore a crown 
with radiating points, and jewels between 
each ; — also a forehead jewel, with a large 
pearl at the four corners, worn lozenge- 
ways on her forehead ; part of her front 
hair was plaited, and two plaits were 
brought round the neck, and tied in a 
knot of the hair; — the red mantle was 
fastened on both shoulders — no linen was 
seen. She held the asp in her left hand; 
it was of a green colour, and rather large. 
Its head was fanciful, and partook of the 




disputably certain what manner of death she died. 9 Plutarch, 
in the life of Anthony, plainly delivereth, that no man knew 
the manner of her death ; for some affirmed she perished by 
poison, which she always carried in a little hollow comb, and 
wore it in her hair. Beside, there were never any asps dis- 
covered in the place of her death, although two of her maids 
perished also with her ; only it was said, two small and 
almost insensible pricks were found upon her arm; which 
was all the ground that Caesar had to presume the manner of 

whims of sculptors both ancient and mo- 
dern, resembling the knobhead aud pout- 
ing mouth of the dolphin. While wri- 
thing, it seems as if preparing to give 
a second bite ; two minute indents of 
the fangs were imprinted on the inside 
of the left breast, and a drop or two 
of blood flowed. Cleopatra was looking 
upwards ; a shuddering expression from 
quivering lips, and heavy tears falling 
down her cheeks, gave the countenance 
a singular effect ; her right hand was 
falling from the wrist as if life were de- 
parting and convulsion commencing. The 
composition of the figure was erect and 
judiciously disposed for the confined space 
it was placed in. The proportion of the 
picture was about two feet nine inches, 
and narrow, like that sized canvass which 
artists in England call a kitcat. On de- 
composing the colours, the learned men 
of Florence and of Paris were fully per- 
suaded that it was an encaustic painting ; 
wax and a resinous gum were distinctly 
separated. The whole picture presented 
the strongest signs of antiquity ; but 
whether it is a real antique, remains still 
a doubt on many minds. It was attri- 
buted to Timomachus, an artist of great 
eminence and a traveller, who lived at 
the court of Augustus Caesar. He fol- 
lowed the encaustic style of Apelles, and 
with him died or faded away that diffi- 
cult art. The picture was painted (as is 
surmised) by the above-named Greek 
artist, from memory (for he had seen 
Cleopatra often,) to supply her place in 
the triumph of Augustus, when he cele- 
brated his Egyptian victories over An- 
thony and Cleopatra. She, by her des- 
perate resolution, deprived him of the 
honour of exposing her person to the 
gaze of the Roman people. The picture 
was said to have been taken, as a pre- 
cious relic of art, by Constantine to By- 
zantium, afterwards named Constantino- 

ple, and restored to Rome on the return 
of his successors to the ancient seat of 
government. Among the very many 
things in and relating to art, this picture 
was overlooked, and remained in the 
deep dark recesses of the wine cellar. 
The Chevalier Micheli carried it back to 
Italy, when he left England, about two 
years ago. What has become of it since 
I know not. 

" The title of the print is as follows: 
— ' Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. The 
original of which this present plate is a 
faithful representation, is the only known 
and hitherto discovered specimen of an- 
cient Greek painting. It has given rise 
to the most learned enquiries both in 
Italy and France, and been universally 
admitted by cognoscenti, assisted by ac- 
tual analysis of the colours, to be an 
encaustic painting. The picture is at- 
tributed to Timomachus, and supposed 
to have been painted by him for his 
friend and patron, Augustus Caesar, 33 
years before Christ, to adorn the triumph 
that celebrated his Egyptian victories 
over Anthony and Cleopatra, as a substi- 
tute for the beautiful original, of whom 
he was disappointed by the heroic death 
she inflicted on herself. This plate is 
dedicated to the virtuosi and lovers of 
refined art in the British empire by the 
author, who is also the possessor of this 
inestimable relic of Grecian art.' 

" I remain your very obedient servant, 
"r. r. reinagle." 

"To Mr. S. Wilkin." 

9 the thing itself, fyc.~\ The painters 
have however this justification, that they 
follow authorities. " Caesar, from the 
two small pricks presumed the manner 
of her death." Suetonius and Eutro- 
pius mention one asp ; Horace, Virgil, 
Florus, and Propertius, two. — Boss and 


her death. Galen, who was contemporary unto Piutareh, 
delivereth two ways of her death ; that she killed herself by 
the bite of an asp, or bit an hole in her arm and poured poi- 
son therein. Strabo, that lived before them both, hath also 
two opinions ; that she died by the bite of an asp, or else a 
poisonous ointment. 

We might question the length of the asps, which are 
sometimes described exceeding short ; whereas the cherscea, 
or land-asp, which most conceive she used, is above four 
cubits long. Their number is not unquestionable ; for where- 
as there are generally two described, Augustus (as Plutarch 
relateth) did carry in his triumph the image of Cleopatra, but 
with one asp unto her arm. As for the two pricks, or little 
spots in her arm, they infer not their plurality ; for like the 
viper the asp hath two teeth, whereby it left this impression,, 
or double puncture behind it. 

And lastly, we might question the place ; for some apply 
them unto her breast, which notwithstanding will not consist 
with the history, and Petrus Victorius hath well observed the 
same. But herein the mistake was easy, it being the custom 
in capital malefactors to apply them unto the breast ; as the 
author De Theriaca ad Pisonem, an eye-witness hereof in 
Alexandria, where Cleopatra died, determineth ; " I beheld," 
saith he, " in Alexandria, how suddenly these serpents bereave 
a man of life ; for when any one is condemned to this kind of 
death, if they intend to use him favourably, that is, to dis- 
patch him suddenly, they fasten an asp unto his breast, and 
bidding him walk about, he presently perisheth thereby." 



Of the Pictures of the Nine Worthies. 

The pictures of the nine worthies * are not unquestionable, 
and to critical spectators may seem to contain sundry impro- 
prieties. Some will enquire why Alexander the Great is de- 
scribed upon an elephant : " for we do not find he used that 
animal in his armies, much less in his own person ; but his 
horse is famous in history, and its name alive to this day. 3 
Beside, he fought but one remarkable battle wherein there 
were any elephants, and that was with Porus, king of India, 
in which notwithstanding, as Curtius, Arrianus, and Plu- 
tarch report, he was on horseback himself. And if because 
he fought against elephants he is with propriety set upon 
their backs, with no less (or greater) reason is the same de- 
scription agreeable unto Judas Maccabeus, as may be ob- 
served from the history of the Maccabees, and also unto 
Julius Caesar, whose triumph was honoured with captive 
elephants, as may be observed in the order thereof set forth 
by Jacobus Laurus. * And if also we should admit this de- 
scription upon an elephant, yet were not the manner thereof 
unquestionable, that is, in his ruling the beast alone ; for be- 
side the champion upon their back, there was also a guide 

* In Splendore Urbis Antique. 

1 the nine worthies,"] Namely, Joshua, ' AXi£,uv8gog 6 Aiog rov A'luvra, rip 

Gideon, Sampson, David, Judas Macca- ,^'w . for be gave t0 this elephant the 

basus, Alexander the Great, Julius Cae- nam ' e of Ajax> and the inhabitants s0 

sar, Charlemagne, and Godfrey of Bou- honoured this beast that th beset bim 


round with garlands and ribbons. — Ar- 

2 Some will enquire, <$c] Ross sug- cma j 6Q 

gests that " this picture hath reference 3 ^ Ms ' h ^-j There is an 

to that story of the elephant in Philos- e ■ of Alexander on Bucephalus, 

tratus (lib i c. 61,) which from Alex- from an m<& g wUhont g £ 

ander to Tiberius, lived three hundred in ±e Youth's Magazine, tor May, 1820. 

and fifty years. This huge elephant, j ™ ° J 

Alexander, after he had overcome Porus, •" ' 
dedicated to the sun, in these words, 


or ruler which sat more forward to command or guide the 
beast. Thus did King Porus ride when he was overthrown 
by Alexander ; and thus are also the towered elephants de- 
scribed, Maccabees ii, 6. Upon the beasts 4 there were strong 
towers of wood, which covered every one of them, and were 
girt fast unto them by devices ; there were also upon every 
one of them thirty-two strong men, beside the Indian that 
ruled them. 

Others will demand, not only why Alexander upon an ele- 
phant, but Hector upon an horse ; whereas his manner of 
fighting, or presenting himself in battle, was in a chariot, 5 
as did the other noble Trojans, who, as Pliny affirmeth, were 
the first inventors thereof. The same way of fight is testi- 
fied by Diodorus, and thus delivered by Sir Walter Raleigh. 
" Of the vulgar, little reckoning was made, for they fought all 
on foot, slightly armed, and commonly followed the success 
of their captains, who rode not upon horses, but in chariots 
drawn by two or three horses." And this was also the an- 
cient way of fight among the Britons, as is delivered by Di- 
odorus, Caesar, and Tacitus ; and there want not some who 
have taken advantage hereof, and made it one argument of 
their original from Troy. 

Lastly, by any man versed in antiquity, the question can 
hardly be avoided, why the horses of these worthies, especi- 
ally of Caesar, are described with the furniture of great sad- 
dles and stirrups ; for saddles, largely taken, though some 
defence there may be, yet that they had not the use of stir- 
rups, seemeth of lesser doubt ; as Pancirollus hath observed, 
as Polydore Virgil and Petrus Victorius have confirmed,* 
expressly discoursing hereon ; as is observable from Pliny, 
and cannot escape our eyes in the ancient monuments, medals, 

* De Inventione Rerum, Varice Lectiones. 

4 upon the beasts.] Yf wee reckon 5 chariot.] The use of chariots and (in 

but 3001b weight for every man and his warr) of iron, and in private travayle of 

armour and weapons (which is the low- lighter substance is as olde as Jacob, as 

est proportion) and allowing for the tower appeares Gen. xlv, 27. And in Gen. 

and harnessing, but 5 or GOOftj more, the xiv, 7, the text sayes, that Pharoah had 

burthenofeachelephantcannotbeesteem- in his army COO chosen chariots, besides 

ed less than 10, lOOftj weight ; which is a all the chariots of /Egypt. Now the 

thing almost incredible : for 4,0001b or former of these two storyes was 500 

5,000]r5 is the greatest loade that 8 or 10 yeares before the Trojan war, and the 

stronghorseareusuallyputtodrawe.-jr? - . later 300. — Wr. 


and triumphant arches of the Romans. Nor is there any 
ancient classical word in Latin to express them. For staphia, 
stapes, or stapeda, is not to be found in authors of this an- 
tiquity. And divers words which may be urged of this sig- 
nification, are either later, or signified not thus much in the 
time of Caesar. And therefore, as Lipsius observeth, lest a 
thing of common use should want a common word, Francis- 
cus Philelphus named them stapedas, and Bodinus Subiecus, 
pedanos. And whereas the name might promise some an- 
tiquity, because among the three small bones in the auditory 
organ, by physicians termed incus, malleus, and stapes, one 
thereof from some resemblance doth bear this name ; these 
bones were not observed, much less named by Hippocrates, 
Galen, or any ancient physician. But as Laurentius observeth, 
concerning the invention of the stapes or stirrup-bone, there 
is some contention between Columbus and Ingrassias ; the 
one of Sicilia, the other of Cremona, and both within the 
compass of this century. 

The same is also deducible from very approved authors. 
Polybius, speaking of the way which Annibal marched into 
Italy, useth the word /Se/S^kt usrai, that is, saith PetrusVictorius, 
it was stored with devices for men to get upon their horses, 
which assents were termed bemata, and in the life of Caius 
Gracchus, Plutarch expresseth as much. For endeavouring 
to ingratiate himself with the people, besides the placing of 
stones at every mile's end, he made at nearer distances cer- 
tain elevated places and scalary ascents, that by the help 
thereof they might with better ease ascend or mount their 
horses. Now if we demand how cavaliers, then destitute of 
stirrups, did usually mount their horses, as Lipsius inform- 
eth, the unable and softer sort of men had their avufiox$ig, or 
stratores, which helped them upon horseback, as in the practice 
of Crassus, in Plutarch, and Caracalla, in Spartianus, and 
the later example of Valentinianus, who because his horse 
rose before, that he could not be settled on his back, cut off 
the right hand of his strator. But how the active and hardy 
persons mounted, Vegetius * resolves us, that they used to 

* De re Milit. 


vault or leap up, and therefore they had wooden horses in 
their houses and abroad, that thereby young men might en- 
able themselves in this action ; wherein by instruction and 
practice they grew so perfect, that they could vault up on the 
right or left, and that with their sword in hand, according to 
that of Virgil, 

Poscit equos atque arma simul, sultuque superbus 

And again, 

Infraenant alii currus, et corpora saltu 
Injiciunt in equos. 

So Julius Pollux adviseth to teach horses to incline, dimit, 
and bow down their bodies, that their riders may with better 
ease ascend them. And thus may it more causally be made 
out what Hippocrates affirmeth of the Scythians, that using 
continual riding they were generally molested with the scia- 
tica or hip gout. Or what Suetonius delivereth of Germa- 
nicus, that he had slender legs, but increased them by riding 
after meals; that is, the humours descending upon their 
pendulosity, they having no support or suppedaneous sta- 
bility. 6 

8 Or what Suetonius, <^c] Hippocra- 
tes observes, that the Scythians, who 
were much on horseback, were troubled 
with defluxions and swellings in their 
legs, occasioned by their dependent pos- 
ture, and the want of something to sus- 
tain their feet. Had stirrups been known, 
this inconvenience could not have been 
urged, and on this fact, together with 
other arguments, Berenger much relies 
in his opinion that stirrups were not 
known to the ancients. See his History 
and Art of Horsemanship, 2 vols. 4to. 
Montfaucon attributes this ignorance to 
the absence of saddles, and to the impos- 
sibility of attaching stirrups to the horse- 
cloths, or ephippia, which were anciently 
used for saddles. 

Beckman, in his chapter on stirrups, 
{History of Inventions and Discoveries, 
vol. ii, 270,) among other authorities, 
refers to the present chapter in the French 
translation. Nothing, he says, resemb- 
ling stirrups, remains in ancient works 
of artpr coins. Xenophon, in his chap- 
ter on horsemanship, makes no mention 
of them. Stone mounting-steps, he ob- 

serves, were not only used among the 
Romans, but are still to be found even 
in England. Victorious generals used to 
compel the vanquished even of the high- 
est rank, to stoop that they might mount 
by stepping on their backs. He men- 
tions some spurious inscriptions and coins 
which exhibit the stirrup. He names 
Mauritius as the first writer who has ex- 
pressly mentioned it, in the sixth cen- 
tury, and from Eustathius it appears that 
even in the 12th century, the use of 
stirrups had not become common. 

" Abdallah's friend found him with his 
foot in the stirrup, just mounting his 
camel." Sale's Koran, Prelim. Disc. p. 
29. Abdallah lived in the sixth century. 

" Stirops. From the old English astige 
or stighe, to ascend or mount up, and 
ropes ; being first devised with cords or 
ropes, before they were made with lea- 
ther and iron fastened to it." Verstegan, 
p. 209. " To have styed up from the 
very centre of the earth." Bishop Hall's 
Contemplations on the Ascension, vol. ii, 
p. 2S5. Hinc Stigh-ropes. — Jeff. 


Now if any shall say that these are petty errors and minor 
lapses, not considerably injurious unto truth, yet is it neither 
reasonable nor safe to contemn inferior falsities, but rather as 
between falsehood and truth there is no medium, so should 
they be maintained in their distances ; nor the contagion of 
the one approach the sincerity of the other. 


Of the Picture of Jephthah Sacrificing his Daughter . 

The hand of the painter confidently setteth forth the picture of 
Jephthah in the posture of Abraham, sacrificing his only daugh- 
ter. Thus is it commonly received, and hath had the attest 
of many worthy writers. Notwithstanding upon enquiry we 
we find the matter doubtful, and many upon probable grounds 
to have been of another opinion ; conceiving in this oblation 
not a natural but a civil kind of death, and a separation only 
unto the Lord. For that he pursued not his vow unto a 
literal oblation, there want not arguments both from the text 
and reason. 7 

According to Sir John Carr's " Cale- or friend's wife, son, or daughter, &c. 

(Ionian Sketches," in his account of a had been returning from a visit to his 

male equipage, that island is not yet "a family, his vow gave him no right over 

land of bridles and saddles." — Mo. Rev. them. Besides, human sacrifices were 

Sep. 1809. — Jeff. ever an abomination to the Lord; and 

7 For that he pursued not, 8fC.~\ The this was one of the grand reasons why 
observations of Dr. Adam Clarke on this God drave out the Canaanites, &c. be- 
very interesting question, are so spirited cause they offered their sons and daugh- 
and satisfactory, that I must insert them, ters to Moloch, in the fire; i.e. made 
Judg. xi, 31 — " The translation of which, burnt-offerings of them, as is generally 
according to the most accurate Hebrew supposed. That Jephthah was a deeply 
scholars, is this — 'I will consecrate it to pious man, appears in the whole of his 
the Lord ; or, I will offer it for a burnt- conduct; and that he was well acquaint- 
offering :' that is, ' if it be a thing fit for ed with the law of Moses, — which prohi- 
a burnt-offering, it shall be made one : if bited such sacrifices, and stated what was 
fit/or the service of God, it shall be conse- to be offered in sacrifice, — is evident 
crated to him.' That conditions of this enough from his expostulation with the 
kind must have been implied in the vow king and people of Amnion, verse 14 to 
is evident enough ; to have been made 27. Therefore it must be granted that 
without them it must have been the vow he never made that rash vow which se- 
of a heathen or a madman. If a dog had veral suppose he did ; nor was he capable, 
met him, this could not have been made if he had, of executing it in that most 
a burnt-offering : and if his neighbour's shocking manner which some Christian 

K 2 


For first, it is evident that she deplored her virginity, and 
not her death ; " Let me go up and down the mountains and 
bewail my virginity, I and my fellows." 

Secondly, when it is said, that Jephthah did unto her ac- 
cording unto his vow, it is immediately subjoined, et non 
cognovit virum, and she knew no man ; which, as immediate 
in words, was probably most near in sense unto the vow. 

Thirdly it is said in the text, that the daughters of Israel 
went yearly to talk with the daughter of Jephthah four days in 
the year ; which had she been sacrificed they could not have 
done : for whereas the word is sometime translated to lament, 
yet doth it also signify to talk or have conference with one, 
and by Tremellius, who was well able to judge of the original, 
it is in this sense translated : Ibant Jilice Israelitarmn, ad 
confabidandum cum Jilia Jephthaci, quatuor diebus quotan- 
nis: and so it is also set down in the marginal notes of our 
translation. And from this annual concourse of the daugh- 
ters of Israel, it is not improbable in future ages the daugh- 
ter of Jephthah came to be worshipped as a deity, and had by 
the Samaritans an annual festivity observed unto her honour, 
as Epiphanius hath left recorded in the heresy of the Mel- 

It is also repugnant unto reason ; for the offering of man- 
kind was against the law of God, who so abhorred human 
sacrifice, that he admitted not the oblation of unclean beasts, 
and confined his altars but unto few kinds of animals, the ox, 
the goat, the sheep, the pigeon, and its kinds. In the clean- 
sing of the leper, there is, I confess, mention made of the 
sparrow ; but great dispute may be made whether it be pro- 
perly rendered. And therefore the Scripture with indigna- 
tion ofttimes makes mention of human sacrifice among the 
Gentiles ; whose oblations scarce made scruple of any ani- 
mal, sacrificing not only man, but horses, lions, eagles ; and 
though they come not into holocausts, yet do we read the 
Syrians did make oblations of fishes unto the goddess Der- 
ceto. It being therefore a sacrifice so abominable unto God, 

writers (tell it not in Gath) have con- executor of God's justice to punish in 
tended for. He could not commit a crime others." 
which himself had just now been an 


although he had pursued it, it is not probable thp priests and 
wisdom of Israel would have permitted it ; and that not only 
in regard of the subject or sacrifice itself, but also the sacri- 
ficator, which the picture makes to be Jephthah, who was 
neither priest, nor capable of that office ; for he was a Gilead- 
ite, and as the text affirmeth, the son also of an harlot. And 
how hardly the priesthood would endure encroachment upon 
their function, a notable example there is in the story of 

Secondly, the offering up of his daughter was not only un- 
lawful and entrenched upon his religion, but had been a 
course that had much condemned his discretion ; that is, to 
have punished himself in the strictest observance of his vow, 
when as the law of God had allowed an evasion ; that is, by 
way of commutation or redemption, according as is determin- 
ed, Levit. xxvii. Whereby if she were between the age of 
five and twenty, she was to be estimated but at ten shekels, 
and if between twenty and sixty, not above thirty. A sum 
that could never discourage an indulgent parent ; it being 
but the value of a servant slain ; the inconsiderable salary of 
Judas ; and will make no greater noise than three pounds 
fifteen shillings with us. And therefore their conceit is not to be 
exploded, who say that from the story of Jephthah's sacrificing 
his own daughter, might spring the fable of Agamemnon, 
delivering unto sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia, who was also 
contemporary unto Jephthah ; wherein to answer the ground 
that hinted it, Iphigenia was not sacrificed herself, but re- 
deemed with an hart, which Diana accepted for her. 8 

Lastly, although his vow run generally for the words, 
" Whatsoever shall come forth, &c." yet might it be restrain- 
ed in the sense, for whatsoever was sacrificeable and justly 
subject to lawful immolation ; and so would not have sacri- 
ficed either horse or dog, if they had come out upon him. Nor 
was he obliged by oath unto a strict observation of that which 
promissorily was unlawful ; or could he be qualified by vow 
to commit a fact which naturally was abominable. Which 

8 Iphigenia, 8fc.~\ So the son of Ido- resting scene in Fcnclons Tdanachus, 
nieneus, on whose late there is an intc- book v. — Jeff. 


doctrine had Herod understood, it might have saved John 
Baptist's head, when he promised by oath to give unto He- 
rodias whatsoever she would ask ; that is, if it were in the 
compass of things which he could lawfully grant. For his 
oath made not that lawful which was illegal before ; and if it 
were unjust to murder John, the supervenient oath did not 
extenuate the fact, or oblige the juror unto it. 9 

Now the ground at least which much promoted the opi- 
nion, might be the dubious words of the text, which contain 
the sense of his vow ; most men adhering unto their common 
and obvious acception. " Whatsoever shall come forth of 
the doors of my house, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will 
offer it up for a burnt-offering." Now whereas it is said, Erit 
Jehovce, et offeram Mud holocaustum, the word signifying 
both et and aid, it may be taken disjunctively ; aid offeram, 
that is, it shall either be the Lord's by separation, or else, an 
holocaust by common oblation ; even as our marginal trans- 
lation advertiseth, and as Tremellius rendereth it, Erit in- 
quam Jehovce, ant offeram illud holocaustum. And, for the 
vulgar translation, it useth often et where aid must be pre- 
sumed, as Exod. xxi ; Si quis percusserit patrem et matrem, 
that is, not both, but either. There being therefore two 
ways to dispose of her, either to separate her unto the Lord, 
or offer her as a sacrifice, it is of no necessity the latter 
should be necessary ; and surely less derogatory unto the 
sacred text and history of the people of God must be the 


Of the Picture of John the Baptist in a Camel's Skin. 

The picture of John the Baptist in a camel's skin is very 
questionable, 1 and many I perceive have condemned it. The 
ground or occasion of this description are the words of the 

9 Lastly, although his vow, c'j'c.j First usual, supports the opinion which Browne 

added in 2nd edition. attacks. "It was tit the Baptist, who 

1 in a camel's skin, fyc."] Ross, as came to preach repentance for sin, should 


Holy Scripture, especially of Matthew and Mark, (for Luke 
and John are silent herein ;) by them it is delivered, " his 
garment was of camel's hair, and he had a leather girdle 
about his loins." Now here it seems the camel's hair is 
taken by painters for the skin or pelt with the hair upon it. 
But this exposition will not so well consist with the strict ac- 
ception of the words ; for Mark i, it is said, he was, evbsBu- 
fjjivog rgfyag xttpyXov, and Matthew iii, iij} rb svSvfia avb rgiyZiv 
xapfaov, that is, as the vulgar translation, that of Beza, that 
of Sixtus Quintus, and Clement the Eighth hath rendered it, 
vestimentam habebat t pills camelinis; which is, as ours 
translateth it, a garment of camel's hair ; that is, made of 
some texture of that hair, a coarse garment, a cilicious or sack- 
cloth habit, suitable to the austerity of his life, — the severity 
of his doctrine, repentance, — and the place thereof, the wil- 
derness, — his food and diet, locusts and wild honey. 2 Agree- 
able unto the example of Elias,* who is said to be vir pilosus, 
that is, as Tremellius interprets, Veste villosa cinctus, an- 
swerable unto the habit of the ancient prophets, according to 
that of Zachary : " In that day the prophets shall be asham- 
ed, neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive ;" f and 
suitable to the cilicious and hairy vests of the strictest orders 
of friarSj who derive the institution of their monastic life from 
the example of John and Elias. 

As for the wearing of skins, where that is properly intend- 
ed, the expression of the Scripture is plain ; so is it said, 

* 2 Kings iii, 18. f Zach. xiii. 

wear a garment of skins, which was the hence by Claudian they are called pellita 

first clothes that Adam wore after he had juventus. Great commanders also used 

sinned ; for his fig-leaves were not pro- to wear them ; as Hercules the lion's 

per, and this garment also shewed both skin, Acestes the bear's, Camilla the ti- 

his poverty and humility. For as great ger's. John's garment, then, of camel's 

men wear rich skins and costly furs, he hair, was not, as some fondly conceit, a 

was contented with a camel's skin. By sackcloth or camblet, but a skin with the 

this garment also he shews himself to hair on it." 

be another Elijah, (2 Kings i,) who This is quaint and lively enough ; but 

did wear such a garment, and to be one the most competent authorities agree 

of those of whom the apostle speaks, who with our author in supposing John's gar - 

went about in skins, of whom the world ment to have been made of a coarse sort 

was not worthy. Neither was it unuse- of camel's hair camblet, or stuff : and 

ful in John's time, and before, to wear Harmer has given several instances of 

skins ; for the prophets among the Jews, such an article being worn, 
the philosophers among the Indians, and " his food, fyc.~\ See book vii, eh. ix, 
generally the Scythians did wear skins ; 


Heb. xi, they wandered about h ouyslon Beg/Muav, that is, in 
goat's skins ; and so it is said of our first parents, Gen. iii, 
" That God made them ^iruvas Bsgfiurivovs, testes pelliceas, or 
coats of skins ;" which though a natural habit unto all, before 
the invention of texture, was something more unto Adam, 
who had newly learned to die ; for unto him a garment from 
the dead was but a dictate of death, and an habit of mortality. 
Now if any man will say this habit of John was neither 
of camel's skin, nor any coarse texture of its hair, but rather 
some finer weave of camelot, grograin or the like, inasmuch 
as these stuffs are supposed to be made of the hair of that 
animal, or because that ./Elian affirmeth that camel's hair of 
Persia is as fine as Milesian wool, wherewith the great ones 
of that place were clothed ; they have discovered an habit 
not only unsuitable unto his leathern cincture, and the coarse- 
ness of his life, but not consistent with the words of our Sa- 
viour, when reasoning with the people concerning John, he 
saith, " What went you out into the wilderness to see ? A 
man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they that wear soft 
raiment, are in king's houses." 


Of the Picture of Saint Christopher. 

The picture of St. Christopher, that is, a man of a giant-like 
stature, bearing upon his shoulders our Saviour Christ, and 
with a staff in his hand, wading through the water, is known 
unto children, common over all Europe, not only as a sign 
unto houses, but is described in many churches, 3 and stands 
Colossus-like in the entrance of Notre Dame in Paris. 4 
Now from hence common eyes conceive an history suitable 

3 is known unto children, <yc.] This tical figures of him, just as here describ- 

gigantic saint is not so general an ac- ed, may be found in the Gent's. Mag. 

quaintance in our nurseries, &c. as he for Oct. 1803. 

seems to have been in days of yore. An 4 Notre Dame.] Also in the cathedral 

amusing account of one of the ecclesias- of Christ's Church, Canterbury. — Jeff, 


unto this description, that he carried our Saviour in his mi- 
nority over some river of water ; which notwithstanding we 
cannot at all make out. For we read not thus much in any 
good author, nor of any remarkable Christopher, before the 
reign of Decius, who lived two hundred and fifty years after 
Christ. This man indeed, according unto history, suffered 
as a martyr in the second year of that Emperor, and in the 
Roman calendar takes up the 21st of July. 

The ground that begat or promoted this opinion, was first 
the fabulous adjections of succeeding ages unto the veritable 
acts of this martyr, who in the most probable accounts was 
remarkable for his staff, and a man of a goodly stature. 

The second might be a mistake or misapprehension of the 
picture, most men conceiving that an history, which was con- 
trived at first but as an emblem or symbolical fancy ; as from 
the annotations of Baronius upon the Roman martyrology, 
Lipellous,* in the life of St. Christopher, hath observed in 
these words ; Acta S. CItristopheri a multis depravata inve- 
niuntur : quod quidem non aliunde originem stimpsisse cer- 
tum est, quam quod symbolicas jiguras imperiti ad veritatem 
successu temporis transtulerint ; itaque cuncta ilia de Sancto 
Christophero pingi consueta, symbola potius quam histories 
alicujus existimandum est esse expressam imaginem ; that is, 
" the acts of St. Christopher are depraved by many : which 
surely began from no other ground than that in process of 
time unskilful men translated symbolical figures unto real 
verities : and therefore what is usually described in the pic- 
ture of St. Christopher, is rather to be received as an emblem, 
or symbolical description, than any real history." Now what 
emblem this was, or what its signification, conjectures are 
many ; Pierius hath set down one, that is, of the disciple of 
Christ ; for he that will carry Christ upon his shoulders, must 
rely upon the staff of his direction, whereon if he firmeth 
himself he may be able to overcome the billows of resistance, 
and in the virtue of this staff, like that of Jacob, pass over 
the waters of Jordan. Or otherwise thus : he that will sub- 
mit his shoulders unto Christ, shall by the concurrence of 

* Lip. De Pitts Sanctorum. 


his power increase into the strength of a giant ; and being 
supported by the staff of his Holy Spirit, shall not be over- 
whelmed by the waves of the world, but wade through all 

Add also the mystical reasons of this portrait alleged by 
Vida and Xei'isanus ; and the recorded story of Christopher, 
that before his martyrdom he requested of God, that wher- 
ever his body were, the places should be freed from pestilence 
and mischiefs, from infection. And therefore his picture or 
portrait was usually placed in public ways, and at the en- 
trance of towns and churches, according to the received 
distich : 5 * 

Christophorum videas, postea tutus eris. 


Of the Picture of St. George. 

The picture of St. George killing the dragon, and as most 
ancient draughts do run, with the daughter of a king stand- 
ing by, is famous amongst Christians. And upon this 
description dependeth a solemn story, how by this achieve- 
ment he redeemed a king's daughter : which is more 
especially believed by the English, whose protector he is ; 
and in which form and history, according to his description 
in the English college at Rome, he is set forth in the icons or 
cuts of martyrs by Cevalerius, and all this according to the 
Historia Lombardica, or golden legend of Jacobus de Vora- 
gine. 6 Now of what authority soever this piece be amongst 
us, it is I perceive received with different beliefs : for some 
believe the person and the story ; some the person, but not 
the story ; and others deny both. 7 

* Anton. Caslellionce Antiqiiitatcs Mediolanenses. 

5 Add also the mystical, § - c] First 7 Some beliivc the person, Sfc] Dr. 
added in 3rd edition. Pettingal published a dissertation to prove 

6 and all this, $-c] First added in both the person and the story to be fabu- 
2nd edition. Ions, and the device of the order to be 


That such a person there was, we shall not contend : for 
besides others, Dr. Heylin hath clearly asserted it in his 
History of St. George. The indistinction of many in the 
community of name, or the misapplication of the acts of one 
unto another, hath made some doubt thereof. For of this 
name we meet with more than one in history, and no less than 
two conceived of Cappadocia. The one an Arian, who was 
slain by the Alexandrians in the time of Julian ; the other a 
valiant soldier and Christian martyr, beheaded in the reign of 
Dioclesian. This is the George conceived in this picture, 
who hath his day in the Roman calendar, on whom so many 
fables are delivered, whose story is set forth by Metaphrastes, 
and his miracles by Turonensis. 

As for the story depending hereon, some conceive as light- 
ly thereof, as of that of Perseus and Andromeda, conjecturing 
the one to be the father of the other ; and some too highly 
assert it. Others with better moderation, do either entertain 
the same as a fabulous addition unto the true and authentic 

merely emblematical: and Dr. Byron 
wrote an essay (in verse) to prove that St. 
Gregory the Great, and not St. George 
was the guardian saint of England. 
Against these two, and other writers on 
the same side, Dr. S. Pegge drew up a 
paper which appeared in the 5th vol. of 
the Archceologia : vindicating the honor 
of the patron saint of these realms, and 
vf that society ; asserting that he was a 
Christian saint and martyr — George of 
Cappadocia; and distinct from the 
Arian bishop George of Alexandria, with 
whom Dr. Reynolds had identified him. 
In this paper Dr. Pegge has not mention- 
ed the present chapter, which in all 
probability only attracted his notice some 
years after. — In his (posthumous work 
called) Anonymiana, No. 54, he says, 
that " the substance of Pettingal's disser- 
tation on the original of the equestrian 
figure of St. George (which the learned 
author supposes to be all emblematical) 
and of the Garter, may be found in 
Browne's Vulgar Errors." 

Browne, however, it must be observed, 
is of the same opinion as Dr. Pegge as 
to the reality of St. George, his identity 
with George of Cappadocia, and his dis- 
tinctness from the Arian bishop. All 
these parties are agreed in declining as- 
sent to the dragon part of the story. 

It is very probable that Sir Thomas 
was led partly by his residence at Nor- 
wich, to investigate the story of St. 
George, who is a personage of no small 
importance there. Pegge mentions the 
guild of St. George in that city, (in his 
paper in the Archaeologia,) but he was 
probably not aware that there has been 
from time immemorial, on [" Lord] 
Mayor's Day" at Norwich, an annual 
pageant, the sole remnant of St. 
George's guild, in which an immense 
dragon, horrible to view, with hydra 
head, and gaping jaws and wings, and 
scales bedecked in gold and green, is 
carried about by a luckless wight, whose 
task it is, the live-long-day, by string and 
pulley from within to ope and shut the 
monster's jaws, by way of levying con- 
tributions on the gaping multitude, es- 
pecially of youthful gazers, with whom it 
is matter of half terror, half joy, to pop 
a half-penny into the opened mouth of 
snap, (so is he called,) whose bow of 
thanks, with long and forked tail high 
waved in air, acknowledges the gift. 
Throughout the rest of the year, fell Snap 
lives on the forage of that memorable day : 
quietly reposing in the hall of his con- 
queror's sainted brother, St. Andrew, 
where the civic feast is held. 


story of St. George, 8 or else, we conceive the literal accep- 
tion to be a misconstruction of the symbolical expression; 
apprehending a veritable history, in an emblem or piece of 
Christian poesy. And this emblematical construction hath 
been received by men not forward to extenuate the acts 
of saints : as, from Baronius, Lipellous the Carthusian hath 
delivered in the life of St George; Picturam Mam St. 
Georgii qua, effingitur eqaes armatus, qui hastce cuspide hos. 
tern interficit, juxta quern etiam virgo posita mantis supplices 
tendens ejus explorat auxiliutn, symboli potiils quam histories 
alicujus censenda expressa imago. Consuevit quidem ut 
equestris milttice miles equestri imagine referri. That is, the 
picture of St. George, wherein he is described like a Cuiras- 
sier or horseman completely armed, &c. is rather a symbolical 
image, than any proper figure. 9 

Now in the picture of this saint and soldier, might be 
implied the Christian soldier, and true champion of Christ : 
A horseman armed cap a pie, intimating the panoplia or com- 
plete armour of a Christian combating with the dragon, that 
is, with the devil, in defence of the king's daughter, that is 
the Church of God. 1 And therefore although the history 
be not made out, it doth not disparage the knights and noble 
order of St. George : whose cognisance is honourable in the 
emblem of the soldier of Christ, and is a worthy memorial to 
conform unto its mystery. Nor, were there no such person 
at all, had they more reason to be ashamed, than the noble 
order of Burgundy, and knights of the golden fleece ; whose 
badge is a confessed fable. 2 

8 some conceive, 8fc.] First added in every Christian soule, and comprehen- 
2nd edition. sively may signifye, the Church of God. 

9 The picture, Sfc] First added in 2nd —Wr. 

edition. -fable.'] Borowed from that old storye 

1 Church of God.'] Or rather the soule, of the Argo-nauts, or Argo-knights, as 

for soe in the picture and story shee is wee may call them, though the golden 

called [psyche] that is the soul of man, fleece be ameer romance. — Wr. 
which in a specificall sense is endeed 



Of the Picture of Jerome. 

The picture of Jerome usually described at his study, with a 
clock hanging by, is not to be omitted ; for though the mean- 
ing be allowable, and probable it is that industrious father 
did not let slip his time without account, yet must not perhaps 
that clock be set down to have been his measure thereof. 
For clocks 3 or automatous organs, whereby we now distin- 
guish of time, have found no mention in any ancient writers, 
but are of late invention, as Pancirollus observeth. And 
Polydore Virgil discoursing of new inventions whereof the 
authors are not known, makes instance in clocks and guns. 
Now Jerome is no late writer, but one of the ancient fathers, 
and lived in the fourth century, in the reign of Theodosius 
the first. 

It is not to be denied that before the days of Jerome there 
were horologies, and several accounts of time ; for they 
measured the hours not only by drops of water in glasses 
called clepsydrce, but also by sand in glasses called clepsam- 
mia. There were also from great antiquity, scioterical or sun- 
dials, by the shadow of a stile or gnomon denoting the hours 
of the day ; an invention ascribed unto Anaximenes by Pliny. 
Hereof a memorable one there was in Campus Martius, from 
an obelisk erected, and golden figures placed horizontally 
about it ; which was brought out of Egypt by Augustus, and 
described by Jacobus Laurus.* And another of great an- 

* A peculiar description and particular construction hereof out of K. Chomer, 
is set down, Curios, de Caffarel. chap. ix. 

3 clock s.~\ The ancient pictures of St. been senator and of a noble familye, 

Hierom were naked, on his knees, in a picture him in the habit of the cardinals, 

cave, with an hour-glasse and a scull by leaning on his arm at a desk in study 

him, intimating his indefatigable con- with a clock hanging by him, and his 

tinuance in prayers and studye while hee finger on a scull : and this they take to 

lived in the cave at Bethleein. But the bee a more proper symbol of the cardinal 

later painters at Rome, bycause hee had eminencye. — Wr. 


tiquity we meet with in the story of Ezechias ; for so it is 
delivered in 2 Kings xx. " That the Lord brought the 
shadow backward ten degrees by which it had gone down 
in the dial of Ahaz." That is, say some, ten degrees, not 
lines ; for the hours were denoted by certain divisions or 
steps in the dial, which others distinguished by lines, accord- 
ing to that of Persius, 

Stertimus indomitum quod despumare Falernum 
Sufficiat, quinta dum linea tangitur umbra. 

That is, the line next the meridian, or within an hour of 

Of later years there succeeded new inventions, and horolo- 
gies composed by trochilick or the artifice of wheels ; where- 
of some are kept in motion by weight, others perform without 
it. Now as one age instructs another, and time, that brings 
all things to ruin, perfects also every thing; so are these 
indeed of more general and ready use than any that went 
before them. By the water glasses the account was not 
regular ; for from attenuation and condensation, whereby that 
element is altered, the hours were shorter in hot weather 
than in cold, and in summer than in winter. As for scioteri- 
cal dials, whether of the sun or moon, they are only of use in 
the actual radiation of those luminaries, and are of little 
advantage unto those inhabitants, which for many months 
enjoy not the lustre of the sun. 

It is I confess no easy wonder how the horometry of an-, 
tiquity discovered not this artifice, how Architas, that con- 
trived the moving dove, or rather the helicosophy of 
Archimedes, fell not upon this way. Surely as in many 
things, so in this particular, the present age hath far surpass- 
ed antiquity ; whose ingenuity hath been so bold not only 
to proceed below the account of minutes ; but to attempt 
perpetual motions, 4 and engines whose revolutions (could 
their substance answer the design) might out-last the ex- 
emplary mobility, and out-measure time itself. For such a 
one is that mentioned by John Dee, whose words are these, 

4 perpetual motions.'] John Romilly, neva, wrote a letter on the impossibility 
a celebrated watch maker, born at Ge- of perpetual motion. — Jeff. 


in his learned preface unto Euclid : " By wheels, strange 
works and incredible are done : a wondrous example was 
seen in my time in a certain instrument, which by the inven- 
tor and artificer was sold for twenty talents of gold ; and then 
by chance had received some injury, and one Janellus of Cre- 
mona did mend the same, and presented it unto the emperor 
Charles the Fifth. Jeronymus Cardanus can be my witness, 
that therein was one wheel that moved at such a rate, that in 
seven thousand years only his own period should be finished ; 
a thing almost incredible, but how far I keep within my 
bounds many men yet alive can tell." 


Of the Pictures of Mermaids, Unicorns, and some others. 

Few eyes have escaped the picture of mermaids ; 5 that is, 
according to Horace's monster, with a woman's head above, 
and fishy extremity below ; and these are conceived to an- 
swer the shape of the ancient sirens that attempted upon 

5 mermaids.'] The existence of mer- salmon in poor Dr. Philip's " undoubted 

maids has been so generally ridiculed, original," I persist in expecting one day 

and high authorities have so repeatedly to have the pleasure of beholding — A 

denounced as forgeries, delusions, or Meumaid ! 

traveller's wonders, the detailed narra- But what is a mermaid ? Aye, there 
tives and exhibited specimens of these is the very gist of the question. Cicero 
sea-nymphs, that it must be a Quixotic little dreamt of his classical rule being 
venture to say a word in their defence, degraded by application to such a discus- 
Yet am I not disposed to give up their sion as the present ; but I shall neverthe- 
cause as altogether hopeless. I cannot less endeavour to avail myself of his 
admit the probability of a belief in them maxim ; — Omnis disputatio debet a defi- 
having existed from such remote anti- nitione proficisci. What is a mermaid ? 
quity, and spread so widely, without Not the fair lady of the ocean, admiring 
some foundation in truth. Nor can I herself in a hand-mirror, and bewitch- 
consent to reject en masse such a host of ing the listener by her song ; — not the 
delightfully pleasant stories as I find re- triton, dwelling in the ocean-cave, and 
corded of these datighters of the sea, sounding his conch-like cornet or trum- 
(as Illiger call the Dugongs) merely be- pet; — not the bishop-frocked creature of 
cause it is the fashion to decry them. I Rondeletius ; nor Aldrovandus' mer-devil, 
must be allowed, then, to hold my opi- with his horns and face of fury ; nor the 
nion in abeyance for further evidence, howling and tempest-stirring monsters of 
Unconvinced even by Sir Humphry Olaus Magnus — not, in short, the crea- 
Davy's grave arguments to prove that ture of poetry or fiction: but a most sup- 
such things cannot be, and undismayed posable, and probably often seen, though 
by his asserted detection of the apes and hitherto undescribed, species of the her- 



[book V. 

Ulysses. Which notwithstanding were of another descrip- 
tion, containing no fishy composure, but made up of man and 
bird : the human mediety variously placed not only above, 
but below, according unto iElian, Suidas, Servius, Boccatius, 
and Aldrovandus, who hath referred their description unto 

bivorous cetacea, (the seals and laman- 
tins,) more approaching, in several re- 
spects, the human configuration, than 
any species we know. 

Let us hear and examine Sir Humphry's 
arguments against the probability of such 
a discovery. He says, that " a human 
head, human hands, and human mammae, 
are wholly inconsistent with a. fish's tail." 
In one sense this is undeniable ; viz. — 
since homo sapiens is (begging Lord Mon- 
boddo's pardon) an incaudate animal, — 
it follows that the head, hands, and mam- 
ma of any creature furnished also with 
a tail, could not be human: and so, con- 
versely, the tail of such a creature could 
not be a fish's tail. But this is a truism, 
only to be paralleled by the exclama- 
tion attributed by Peter Pindar to Sir 
Joseph Banks, when he had boiled the 
fleas and found they did not turn red, — 
"Fleas are not lobsters! &c." Davy's 
was not a nominal objection, a mere 
play upon words : he goes on to say, 
" the human head is adapted for an erect 
posture, and in such a posture an ani- 
mal with a fish's tail could not swim." 
The head of our mermaid, however, may 
more strongly resemble the human head, 
than any described animal of its tribe, 
and yet preserve at the same time the 
power which they all have, of raising the 
head perpendicularly out of the water 
while swimming, as Sir Humphry him- 
self probably did, when he was mistaken 
by the fair ladies of Caithness for a mer- 
maid ! Cuvier remarks, moreover, that 
the tails of these herbivorous cetacea dif- 
fer from those of fish in their greater 
adaptation to maintain an erect posture. 
Sir Humphry proceeds — " A creature 
with lungs must be on the surface seve- 
ral times in a day ; and the sea is an in- 
convenient breathing place !" I must 
take the liberty of confronting this most 
singular observation with a much greater 
authority. Cuvier says, (and surely Sir 
Humphry must have for the moment 
forgotten,) that the cetacea, though con- 
stantly residing in the sea, "as they 
respire by lungs, are obliged to rise fre- 
quently to the surface to take in fresh 

supplies of air." What is to be said of 
a naturalist who argues against the possi- 
bility of any creature provided with lungs 
residing in the sea, in the face of so 
important an example of the fact as we 
have in the entire class of cetacea? 
What would Cuvier, with all his readi- 
ness to do homage to genius in any man, 
and especially in so splendid an instance 
as Davy, — what must he have thought, 
had he read his preceding remarks ? 
Magnus aliquando dormitat Homerus ! 

It is the more remarkable, as Sir 
Humphry actually mentions some spe- 
cies of this very tribe as having probably 
given rise to some of the stories about 
mermaids. And as to mamma and hands, 
to which he also objects if in company 
with the fish's tail, we must here again 
have recourse to the protection of Cuvier 
against our mighty assailant. " The first 
family," (herbivorous cetacea,) says Cu- 
vier, " frequently emerge from the water 
to seek for pasture on the shore. They 
have two mammas on the breast, and 
hairs like mustachios, two circumstances 
which, when they raise the anterior part 
of the body above water, give them some 
resemblance to men and women, and 
have probably occasioned those fables of 
the ancients concerning Tritons and Sy- 
rens. Vestiges of claws may be disco- 
vered on the edges of their fins, which 
they use with dexterity in creeping, and 
carrying their little ones. This has given 
rise to a comparison of these organs with 
hands, and hence these animals have 
been called manatis," (or lamantins.) 

Thus I have sketched the sort of crea- 
ture, which may be supposed to exist : 
nor can I deem it unreasonable to ex- 
pect such a discovery, though Davy, after 
saying, " It doubtless might please God 
to make a mermaid; but I do not believe 
God ever did make one :" — somewhat 
arrogantly pronounces that " such an ani- 
mal, if created, could not long exist, and, 
with scarce any locomotive powers, would 
be the prey of other fishes formed in a 
manner more suited to their element." 

It is singular that a writer in the Enc. 
Mitropalitana should have concluded a 


the story of fabulous birds ; according to the description of 
Ovid, and the account thereof in Hyginus, that they were 
the daughters of Melpomene, and metamorphosed into the 
shape of man and bird by Ceres. 

And therefore these pieces, so common among us, do 
rather derive their original, or are indeed the very descrip- 
tions of Dagon, which was made with human figure above, 
and fishy shape below ; whose stump, or, as Tremellius and 
our margin render it, whose fishy part only remained, when 
the hands and upper part fell before the ark. Of the shape 
of Artergates, or Derceto, with the Phoenicians, in whose 
fishy and feminine mixture, as some conceive, were implied 
the moon and the sea, or the deity of the waters ; and there- 
fore in their sacrifices, they made oblations of fishes. From 
whence were probably occasioned the pictures of Nereides 
and Tritons among the Grecians, and such as we read in 
Macrobius, to have been placed on the top of the temple of 

We are unwilling to question the royal supporters of Eng- 
land, that is, the approved descriptions of the lion and the 
unicorn. Although, if in the lion the position of the pizzle 

long and amusing article with the margi- The ears, nose, lips, chin, breasts, fing- 

nal note, "mermaids impossible animals;" ers, and nails, resemble the human sub- 

supported solely by the very extraordinary ject. Eight incisores, four canine, eight 

arguments of Sir Humphry. molares. The animal, though shrunk, is 

Those who are desirous of seeing an about three feet long ; its resemblance to 

enumeration of all the supposed mer- a man having ceased immediately under 

maids and monsters, which have at vari- the mamma. On the line of separation, 

ous times amused the public, may refer and immediately under the breast, are 

to the article just quoted, and to a mis- two fins. Below, it resembles a salmon, 

cellaneous volume, entitled the Working It is covered with scales — but which on 

Bee, published by Fisher and Co. New- the upper part are scarcely perceptible: 

gate street, in which is an Historical Me- it was caught somewhere on the north of 

moir of Syrens or Mermaids. China by a fisherman, who sold it for a 

In explanation of one or two allusions trifle. At Batavia it was bought by Capt. 

in my preceding remarks, I may just Eades, in whose possession it then was. 

mention that in the Evangelical Maga- This very specimen Davy pronounced to 

zine, for Sept. 1822, is inserted part of a be composed of the head and bust from 

letter from the Rev. Dr. Philip, dated two apes, fastened to the tail of the 

Cape Town, April 20th, 1822. The kipper salmon, — salmo solar. 

Dr. says, he had just seen a mermaid, He also notices another instance of 

then exhibiting in that town. The head a supposed mermaid, seen off the coast 

is about the size of a baboon's, thinly of Caithness, which turned out to have 

covered with black hair ; a few hairs on been a gentleman bathing. He is as- 

the upper lip. The forehead low, but serted to have intended himself. See his 

with better proportioned and more like Salmonia. 
human features than any of the baboons. 



be proper, and that the natural situation, it will be hard to 
make out their retrocopulation, or their coupling and pissing 
backward, according to the determination of Aristotle; all 
that urine backward do copulate vrvy7}$ov, clunatim, or aversely, 
as lions, hares, lynxes. 

As for the unicorn, if it have the head of a deer and the 
tail of a boar, as Vertomannus describeth it, how agree- 
able it is to this picture every eye may discern. If it be made 
bisulcous or cloven-footed, it agreeth unto the description of 
Vertomannus, but scarce of any other ; and Aristotle sup- 
poseth that such as divide the hoof, do also double the 
horn; they being both of the same nature, and admitting 
division together. And lastly, if the horn have this situa- 
tion and be so forwardly affixed, as is described, it will not 
be easily conceived how it can feed from the ground ; and 
therefore we observe that nature, in other cornigerous ani- 
mals, hath placed the horns higher and reclining, as in bucks ; 
in some inverted upwards, as in the rhinoceros, the Indian 
ass, and unicornous beetles ; and thus have some affirmed it 
is seated in this animal. 

We cannot but observe that in the picture of Jonah and 
others, whales are described with two prominent spouts on 
their heads ; whereas indeed they have but one in the fore- 
head, and terminating over the windpipe. 6 Nor can we over- 
look the picture of elephants with castles on their backs, 
made in the form of land castles, or stationary fortifications, 
and answerable unto the arms of Castile, or Sir John Old- 
castle ; whereas the towers they bore were made of wood, 
and girt unto their bodies, as is delivered in the books of 
Maccabees, and as they were appointed in the army of An- 

We will not dispute the pictures of retiary spiders, and 
their position in the web, which is commonly made lateral, 
and regarding the horizon, although, if observed, we shall 
commonly find it downward, and their heads respecting the 
centre. We will not controvert the picture of the seven 

6 two prominent points, §c.~\ The ce- other, in others close together, and in 
tacea have all two spiracles, but on some some so near that they seem to unite in 
they are considerably remote from each one and the same opening. 


stars ; although if thereby be meant the Pleiades, or sub- 
constellation upon the back of Taurus, with what congruity 
they are described, either in site or magnitude, in a clear 
night an ordinary eye may discover from July unto April. 
We will not question the tongues of adders and vipers, de- 
scribed like an anchor, nor the picture of the fleur-de-lis : 
though how far they agree unto their natural draughts, let 
every spectator determine. 

Whether the cherubims about the ark be rightly describ- 
ed in the common picture,* that is, only in human heads, with 
two wings, or rather in the shape of angels or young men, or 
somewhat at least with feet, as the Scripture seems to 
imply. Whether the cross seen in the air by Constantine, 
were of that figure wherein we represent it, or rather made 
out of X and P, the two first letters of Xgiarog. Whether the 
cross of Christ did answer the common figure ; whether so 
far advanced above his head ; whether the feet were so dis- 
posed, that is, one upon another, or separately nailed, as 
some with reason describe it, we shall not at all contend. 
Much less whether the house of Diogenes were a tub framed 
of wood, and after the manner of ours, or rather made of 
earth, as learned men conceive, and so more clearly make out 
that expression of Juvenal.f We should be too critical to 
question the letter Y, or bicornous element of Pythagoras, 
that is, the making of the horns equal ; 7 or the left less than 
the right, and so destroying the symbolical intent of the 
figure ; confounding the narrow line of virtue with the larger 
road of vice, answerable unto the narrow door of heaven, and 
the ample gates of hell, expressed by our Saviour, and not 
forgotten by Homer in that epithet of Pluto's house. 8 J 

Many more there are whereof our pen shall take notice, 
nor shall we urge their enquiry ; we shall not enlarge with 

* 2 Chron. iii, 13. f Dolia magni non ardent Cynici, &c. 

J 'EugiKruXjjg. 

7 the letter Y, #c] An allusion to ing: with some excellent observations on 

this letter, in Dr. Donne's sermon on the style of the old sermon writers. — 

" Where your treasure is, there will your Jeff. 

heart be also," is mentioned by Dr. Vi- 8 Whether the cherubims, #c] This 

cesimus Knox in his 38th Winter Even- paragraph first added in 2nd edition. 

L 2 


what incongruity, and how dissenting from the pieces of 
antiquity, the pictures of their gods and goddesses are de- 
scribed, and how hereby their symbolical sense is lost ; 
although herein it were not hard to be informed from Phor- 
nutus,* Fulgentius, f and Albricus. J Whether Hercules be 
more properly described strangling than tearing the lion, as 
Victorius hath disputed ; nor how the characters and figures 
of the signs and planets be now perverted, as Salmasius hath 
learnedly declared. We will dispense with bears with long 
tails, such as are described in the figures of heaven ; we shall 
tolerate flying horses, black swans, hydras, centaurs, har- 
pies, and satyrs, for these are monstrosities, rarities, or else 
poetical fancies, 9 whose shadowed moralities requite their 
substantial falsities. Wherein indeed we must not deny a 
liberty ; nor is the hand of the painter more restrainable than 
the pen of the poet. But where the real works of nature, or 
veritable acts of story are to be described, digressions are 
abberrations ; and art being but the imitator or secondary 
representor, it must not vary from the verity of the example, 
or describe things otherwise than they truly are, or have 
been. For hereby introducing false ideas of things, it per- 
verts and deforms the face and symmetry of truth. 


Of the Hieroghjphical Pictures of the Egyptians. 

Certainly of all men that suffered from the confusion of 
Babel, the Egyptians found the best evasion ; for, though 
words were confounded, they invented a language 1 of things, 

* Phornut. Be Nalura Deorum. f Fulg. Mythologia. 

X Albric. Be Deorum Imaginibus. 

9 flying horses, fyc.] Modern disco- 1 a language, $)"c.~] A common lan- 

veries have lessened this list. The black suage might possibly bee framed which 

swan, though rara avis, is no longer a all should understand under one charac- 

poetical fancy. There was a time when ter, in their own tongue, as well as all 

the camelopard was deemed imaginary, understand in astronomy the 12 signes, 




and spake unto each other by common notions in nature. 
Whereby they discoursed in silence, and were intuitively 
understood from the theory of their expresses. For they 
assumed the shapes of animals common unto all eyes, and by 
their conjunctions and compositions " were able to communi- 
cate their conceptions unto any that coapprehended the syn- 
taxes of their natures. This many conceive to have been 
the primitive way of writing, and of greater antiquity than 
letters ; and this indeed might Adam well have spoken, who, 
understanding the nature of things, had the advantage of 
natural expressions. Which the Egyptians but taking upon 
trust, upon their own or common opinion, from conceded 
mistakes they authentically promoted errors ; describing in 
their hieroglyphicks creatures of their own invention, or from 
known and conceded animals, erecting significations not in- 
ferible from their natures. 3 

the 7 planets, and the several aspects ; 
or in Geometry, a triangle, a rhombe, 
a square, a parallelogram, a helix, a de- 
cussation, a cross, a circle, a sector, and 
such like very many : or the Saracenicall 
and algebraick characters in arithmetick, 
or the notes of weight among physitians 
and apothecaryes : or lastly, those marks 
of punctuations and qualityes among 
grammarians in Hebrew under, in Ara- 
bick above, the words. To let pass Para- 
celsus his particular marks, and the com- 
mon practice of all trades. — Wr. 

2 by their conjunctions, <^e.] More 
clearly, " by the conjunction and compo- 
sition of those shapes of animals, &c." 

3 which the Egyptians, <^c] How lit- 
tle, alas, do we know of the picture- 
writing of the Egyptians, even after all 
the profound researches of Young, Cham- 
pollion, Klaproth, Akerblad, De Sacy, 
and others : and how little (we may per- 
haps add) can we hope ever to see ef- 
fected. We are told by Clemens Alex- 
andrinus (and subsequent researches have 
done little more than enable us to com- 
prehend his meaning,) that the Egyptians 
used three modes of writing ; — the epis- 
tolographic, (called demotic by Herodo- 
tus and Diodorus, and enchorial in the 
Rosetta inscription,) the hieratic, (em- 
ployed by the sacred scribes,) and the 
hieroglyphick, — consisting of the kuriolo- 
gic, (subsequently termed phonetic?) and 
the symbolic, of which there are several 

kinds ; — one representing objects proper- 
ly, another metaphorically, a third enig- 
matically. The great discovery made 
by Dr. T. Young, from the Rosetta in- 
cription, was that some of the hieroglyphs 
were the signs qfsotmds, each hieroglyph 
signifying the first letter of the Egyptian 
name of the object represented. Sup- 
posing all their picture-writing to be 
symbolical, then it would be manifestly 
impossible to hope to read it. For ex- 
ample, we are told that the figure of a 
bee expressed the idea of royalty; but 
who could have guessed this ? Supposing 
on the other hand that the hieroglyphs 
were entirely phonetic (which was not 
the case, nor can we possibly ascertain 
in what proportion they were so,) sup- 
posing them also to be certain and deter- 
minate signs of sounds, one and the same 
sign always employed to represent one 
and the same sound ; — supposing in short 
that " we could spell syllables and dis- 
tinguish words with as much certainty 
and precision as if they had been written 
in any of the improved alphabets of the 
west, — there would yet always remain 
one difficulty over which genius itself 
could not triumph ; namely, to discover 
the signification of the words, when it is 
not known by tradition or otherwise :" 
— when the original language has long 
since utterly vanished ; — and when the 
only instrument left wherewith we can 
labour (the Coptic) is but the mutilated 


And first, although there were more things in nature, than 
words which did express them, yet even in these mute and 
silent discourses, to express complexed significations, they 
took a liberty to compound and piece together creatures of 
allowable forms into mixtures inexistent. Thus began the 
descriptions of griffins, basilisks, phoenix, and many more ; 
which emblematists and heralds have entertained with signi- 
cations answering their institutions ; hieroglyphically adding 
martegres, wivernes, lion-fishes, with divers others. Pieces 
of good and allowable invention unto the prudent spectator, 
but are looked on by vulgar eyes as literal truths or absurd 
impossibilities ; whereas indeed they are commendable inven- 
tions, and of laudable significations. 

Again, beside these pieces fictitiously set down, and hav- 
ing no copy in nature, they had many unquestionably drawn, 
of inconsequent signification, nor naturally verifying their 
intention. We shall instance but in few, as they stand re- 
corded by Orus. The male sex they expressed by a vulture, 4 
because of vultures all are females, and impregnated by the 
wind ; which authentically transmitted hath passed many 
pens, and became the assertion of iElian, Ambrose, Basil, 
Isidore, Tzetzus, Philes, and others. Wherein notwithstand- 
ing what injury is offered unto the creation in this confine- 

and imperfect fragment of an extinct Ian- be entertained till it has been proved ; — 

guage, itself when living the remnant and it would be no easy matter to shew 

only of that elder form of speech which that many of the monsters enumerated, 

we are seeking to decypher ; but of were really Egyptian : " Consider- 

which, alas ! through so imperfect a me- ing how absurdly and monstrously com- 

dium, but slight traces and lineaments plicated the Egyptian superstitions really 

can be here and there faintly reflected, were, it becomes absolutely essential to 

The article, Egypt, in the Sup. to Ency. separate that which is most fully estab- 

Brit. and hieroglyphicks, in Ency. lished, or most generally admitted, from 

Metrop. together with articles in the 45th the accidental or local varieties, which 

and 57th vols, of the Edinburgh Review, may have been exaggerated by different 

will give those disposed to go further into authors into established usages of the 

the subject a full and interesting view of whole nation, and still more from those 

all that has hitherto been effected in this which have been the fanciful productions 

most difficult, if not hopeless, field of of their own inventive faculties." — Dr. 

labour. Young, EGYPT, Sup. Ency. Brit, iv, 43. 

But our author's special object in this The authors on whom Browne relies, 

chapter is to bring against the Egyptians especially Pierius, are by no means to be 

the twofold charge ; first, of " describing received without the caution expressed 

in their hieroglyphicks creatures of their in the foregoing quotation, 

own inventions;" and secondly, of" erect- * the male sex, <$'c] See Pierius, 

ing, from known and conceded animals, Ilicroglyphica, fol. 1626, lxxiii, c. 1, 4. 

significations not inferible from their Horapollo (4to. curd Pauw.) No. 12. 
natures." No charge, however, can fairly 


ment of sex, and what disturbance unto philosophy in the 
concession of windy conceptions, we shall not here declare. 
By two drachms they thought it sufficient to signify an 
heart ; 5 because the heart at one year weigheth two drachms, 
that is, a quarter of an ounce, and unto fifty years annually 
increaseth the weight of one drachm, after which in the 
same proportion it yearly decreaseth ; so that the life of a 
man dolh not naturally extend above an hundred. And this 
was not only a popular conceit, but consentaneous unto the 
physical principles, as Hernius hath accounted it.* 

A woman that hath but one child, they express by a lion- 
ess ; for that conceiveth but once. 6 Fecundity they set forth 
by a goat, because but seven days old it beginneth to use 
coition. 7 The abortion of a woman they describe by an horse 
kicking a wolf; because a mare will cast her foal if she 
tread in the track of that animal. 8 Deformity they signify by 
a bear, 9 and an unstable man by a hysena, 1 because that ani- 
mal yearly exchangeth its sex. A woman delivered of a 
female child they imply by a bull looking over his left 

* In his Philosophia Barbarica. 

5 By two drachms, 8[C.~\ Pierius says for her young foale, she will never cease 
that the Egyptians used the vulture to hunting with open mouth till shee drive 
symbolize two drachms, or a heart : and him quite away : the wolfe avoyding the 
he gives other reasons for the adoption gripe of her teeth, as much as the stroke 
of the symbol, though he deems that of her heeles : and to make up the pro- 
mentioned by Browne, the most proba- bability hereof, itt is certaine that a 
ble. (Ibid. I. xviii, c. 20.) Horapollo generous horse will fasten on a dog with 
says, they used the vulture to represent his teeth, as fell out anno 1653, in Octo- 
two drachms, because unity was expressed ber, at Bletchinden (Oxon) a colt being 
by two lines ; and, unity being the begin- bated by a mastive (that was set on by 
ning of numbers, most fitly doth its sign his master to drive him out of a pasture) 
express a vulture, because, like unity, tooke up the dog in his teeth by the 
it is singly the author of its own increase, back, and rann away with him, and at 
(Ibid. No. 12.) last flinging him over his head lefte the 

6 A woman, <^e.] Pierius, lib. i, c. 14, dog soe bruised with the gripe and the 
Horapollo, No. 82. fall, that hee lay half dead; but the ge- 

7 Fecundity, 8fC.~\ Pierius, lib. x, c. 10, nerous colte leapt over the next hedge, 
Horapollo, No. 48. and ran home to his own pasture un- 

8 The abortion, Sfc.'] Pierius, lib. xi, hurt. — Wr. 

c. 9, Horapollo, No. 45. 9 Deformity, 8fc.~\ Pierius, I. xi, c. 42. 

Whether the tracke of the wolfe will Horapollo, No. 83, says, " Hominem, 

cause abortion in a mare is hard to bee qui initio quidem informis natus sit, sed 

knowne : but the mare does soe little postea formam acceperit, innuunt de- 

feare the wolfe, that (as 1 have heard itt picta ursa pragannte." 
from the mouth of a gentleman, an eye- ' an unstable, $c.~] Pierius, 1. xi, c. 

witness of what he related) as soone as 24, Horapollo, No. 69. 
shee perceaves the wolfe to lye in watch 


shoulder ; " because if in coition a bull part from a cow on 
that side, the calf will prove a female. 3 

All which, with many more, how far they consent with 
truth we shall not disparage our reader to dispute ; and 
though some way allowable unto wiser conceits who could 
distinctly receive their significations, yet carrying the majesty 
of hieroglyphicks, and so transmitted by authors, they crept 
into a belief with many, and favourable doubt with most. 
And thus, I fear, it hath fared with the hieroglyphical sym- 
bols of Scripture ; which, excellently intended in the species 
of things sacrificed, in the prohibited meats, in the dreams of 
Pharaoh, Joseph, and many other passages, are ofttimes 
racked beyond their symbolizations, and enlarged into con- 
structions disparaging their true intentions. 4 

3 A woman, Sfc.~\ Pierius, 1. iii, c. 6. 
Horapollo, who adds also the converse of 
the proposition, No. 43. 

s '•female, ,1 I have heard this avowed 
by auneient grave farmers. — Wr. 

4 intentions. "\ Ross dispatches the 
16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th chap- 
ters in the following summary remarks : 

" In some subsequent chapters the 
doctor questions the pictures of St. Chris- 
topher carrying Christ over the river ; of 
St. George on horseback killing the dra- 
gon ; of St. Jerom with a clock hanging 
by; of mermaids, unicorns, and some 
others ; with some hieroglyphick pictures 
of the Egyptians. In this he doth luc- 
tarl cum larvis, and with jEneas in the 
poet, Irruit et frustra ferro diverberat 
umbras. He wrestles with shadows : 
for he may as well question all the po- 
etical fictions, all the sacred parables, all 
tropical speeches ; also escutcheons, or 
coats of arms, signs hanging out at doors 
— where he will find blue boars, white 
lions, black swans, double-headed eagles, 
and such like, devised only for distinc- 
tion. The like devices are in military 

ensigns. Felix, Prince of Salernum, had 
for his device a tortoise with wings, fly- 
ing, with this motto, amor addidit ; inti- 
mating, that love gives wings to the 
slowest spirits. Lewis of Anjou, King 
of Naples, gave for his device, a hand 
out of the clouds, holding a pair of scales, 
with this motto, JEqua durant semper. 
Henry the First, of Portugal, had a fly- 
ing horse for his device. A thousand 
such conceits I could allege, which are 
symbolical, and therefore it were ridicu- 
lous to question them, if they were his- 
torical. As for the cherubims, I find 
four different opinions. 1. Some write 
they were angels in the form of birds. 
2. Aben Ezra thinks the word cherub 
signifieth any shape or form. 3. Jose- 
phus will have them to be winged ani- 
mals, but never seen by any. 4. The 
most received opinion is, that they had 
the shape of children : /or rub in He- 
brew, and rabe in Chaldee, signifieth a 
child ; and chc, as : so then, cherub sig- 
nifieth as a child, and it is most likely 
they were painted in this form." 



Of the Picture of Human Hanged. 

In common draughts, Haman is hanged by the neck upon an 
high gibbet, after the usual and now practised way of sus- 
pension : but whether this description truly answereth the 
original, learned pens consent not, and good grounds there 
are to doubt. For it is not easily made out that this was an 
ancient way of execution in the public punishment of malefac- 
tors among the Persians, but we often read of crucifixion in 
their stories. So we find that Orostes, a Persian governor, 
crucified Polycrates the Samian tyrant. And hereof we have 
an example in the life of Artaxerxes, King of Persia, (whom 
some will have to be Ahasuerus in this story,) that his mo- 
ther, Parysatis, flayed and crucified her eunuch. The same 
also seems implied in the letters patent of King Cyrus : Om- 
nis qui hanc mutaverit jussionem, tollatur lignum de domo 
ejus, et erigatur, et configatur in eo.* 

The same kind of punishment was in use among the Ro- 
mans, Syrians, Egyptians, Carthaginians, and Grecians. For 
though we find in Homer that Ulysses in a fury hanged the 
strumpets of those who courted Penelope, yet is it not so easy 
to discover that this was the public practice or open course 
of justice among the Greeks. 

And even that the Hebrews used this present way of 
hanging, by illaqueation or pendulous suffocation, in public 
justice and executions, the expressions and examples in 
Scripture conclude not, beyond good doubt. 

That the King of Hai was hanged, or destroyed by the 
common way of suspension, is not conceded by the learned 
Masius in his comment upon that text ; who conceiveth 

* In Ezra vi. 
5 Chtip xxi.] The whole chapter first added in 6th edition. 


thereby rather some kind of crucifixion, at least some patibu- 
lary affixion after he was slain, and so represented unto the 
people until toward the evening. 

Though we read in our translation that Pharoah hanged 
the chief baker, yet learned expositors understand hereby 
some kind of crucifixion, according to the mode of Egypt, 
whereby he exemplarily hanged out till the fowls of the air 
fed on his head or face, the first part of their prey being the 
eyes. And perhaps according to the signal draught hereof 
in a very old manuscript of Genesis, now kept in the Em- 
peror's library at Vienna, and accordingly set down by the 
learned Petrus Lambecius, in the second tome of the descrip- 
tion of that library. 

When the Gibeonites hanged the bodies of those of the 
house of Saul, thereby was intended some kind of crucifying, 6 
according unto good expositors, and the vulgar translation ; 
crucifixerunt eos in monte coram domino. Nor only these, 
mentioned in Holy Scripture, but divers in human authors, 
said to have suffered by way of suspension or crucifixion 
might not perish by immediate crucifixion ; 7 but however 
otherwise destroyed, their bodies might be afterward ap- 
pended or fastened unto some elevated engine, as exemplary 
objects unto the eyes of the people. So sometimes we read 
of the crucifixion of only some part, as of the heads of Julia- 
anus and Albinus, though their bodies were cast away. 8 
Besides, all crosses or engines of crucifixion were not of 
the ordinary figure, nor compounded of transverse pieces, 
which make out the name, but some were simple, and made 
of one arrectarium serving for affixion or infixion, either fas- 
tening or piercing through ; and some kind of crucifixion is 
the setting of heads upon poles. 
That legal text which seems to countenance the common 

6 the Gibeonites, <^c] The Jews, as troduction, eye. part ii, ch. iii, § iv. 

is just afterwards remarked, inflicted the 7 nor only, Sfc.~\ This sentence is in- 

infamy (rather than punishment) of serted, in Ms. sloan. 1827, instead of the 

hanging after death. And so might following : " Many, both in Scripture 

these Gibeonites. But they were not Is- and human writers, might be said to be 

raelites, as Rev. T. H. Home has observ- crucified, though they did not perish 

ed, butCanaanites.and probably retained immediately by crucifixion." 

their own laws. See his section on the 8 castaway.] The succeeding sentence 

punishments mentioned in Scripture ; In- was added from ms. sloan. 1827. 


way of hanging, if a man hath committed a sin worthy of 
death, and they hang him on a tree,* is not so received by 
Christian and Jewish expositors. And, as a good annotator 
of ours f delivereth, out of Maimonides : the Hebrews under- 
stand not this of putting him to death by hanging, but of 
hanging a man after he was stoned to death, and the man- 
ner is thus described ; after he is stoned to death they fasten 
a piece of timber in the earth, and out of it there cometh a 
piece of wood, and then they tie both his hands one to ano- 
ther, and hang him unto the setting of the sun. 

Beside, the original word, hakany, determineth not the 
doubt. For that by lexicographers or dictionary interpreters, 
is rendered suspension and crucifixion, there being no He- 
brew word peculiarly and fully expressing the proper word of 
crucifixion, as it was used by the Romans ; nor easy to prove 
it the custom of the Jewish nation to nail them by distinct 
parts unto a cross, after the manner of our Saviour crucified ; 
wherein it was a special favour indulged unto Joseph to take 
down the body. 

Lipsius lets fall a good caution to take off doubts about 
suspension delivered by ancient authors, and also the ambi- 
guous sense of Kgzpdtfai among the Greeks. Tale apud La- 
tinos ipsum suspendere, quod in crucem referendum moneo 
juventutem ; as that also may be understood of Seneca, La- 
trocinium fecit aliquis, quid ergo meruit ? ut suspendatur. 
And this way of crucifying he conceiveth to have been in 
general use among the Romans, until the latter days of Con- 
stantine, who in reverence unto our Saviour abrogated that 
opprobrious and infamous way of crucifixion. Whereupon 
succeeded the common and now practised way of suspension. 

But long before this abrogation of the cross, the Jewish 
nation had known the true sense of crucifixion : whereof no 
nation had a sharper apprehension, while Adrian crucified 
five hundred of them every day, until wood was wanting for 
that service. So that they which had nothing but ' crucify' in 
their mouths, were therewith paid home in their own bodies ; 
early suffering the reward of their imprecations, and properly 
in the same kind. 

* Deut. xxi. f Ainsworth. 



Of the Picture of God the Father ; of the Sun, Moon, 
and Winds, with others. 

The picture of the Creator, or God the Father, in the shape 
of an old man, is a dangerous piece, 1 and in this fecundity of 
sects may revive the anthropomorphites.* Which although 
maintained from the expression of Daniel, " I beheld where 
the ancient of days did sit, whose hair of his head was like 
the pure wool ;" yet may it be also derivative from the hiero- 
glyphical description of the Egyptians ; who to express their 
eneph or Creator of the world, described an old man in a 
blue mantle, with an egg in his mouth, which was the emblem 
of the world. Surely those heathens, that notwithstanding 
the exemplary advantage in heaven, would endure no pictures 
of sun or moon, as being visible unto all the world, and need- 
ing no representation, do evidently accuse the practice of 
those pencils that will describe invisibles. And he that chal- 
lenged the boldest hand unto the picture of an echo, must 
laugh at this attempt, not only in the description of invisi- 
bility, but circumscription of ubiquity, and fetching under 
lines incomprehensible circularity. 

* Certain hereticks who ascribed human figure unto God, after which they con- 
ceived he created man in his likeness. 

9 Chap, xxii.] The first and second 1 picce.~\ This is a very just and wor- 

subjects of this chapter were Nos. 14 thy censure, and well followed with 

and 15, of chapter xxii, in editions 1672 scorne in the close of this paragraph, 

and 1686. There they were obviously St. Paul saw things in a vision which 

out of their place, occurring in the midst himself could not utter : and therefore 

of a very different class of observations, they are verye bold with God, who dare 

I have therefore removed them: and hav- to picture him in any shape visible to the 

ing found (in No. 1827 of the Sloanian eye of mortality, which Daniel himself 

MSS. in the British Museum) some ad- behelde not, but in a rapture and an ex- 

ditional instances of mistakes in " pictu- tatical vision : unlesse they can answere 

ral draughts," I have formed the two that staggering question, " To what will 

transplanted numbers, together with the you liken me ?" — Wr. 
hitherto unpublished matter, into a new St. Augustine censures this impro- 

chapter. priety ; Ep. exxii. 


The pictures of the Egyptians were more tolerable, and in 
their sacred letters more veniably expressed the apprehen- 
sion of divinity. For though they implied the same by an eye 
upon a sceptre, by an eagle's head, a crocodile and the like, yet 
did these manual descriptions pretend no corporal represen- 
tations, nor could the people misconceive the same unto real 
correspondencies. So, though the cherub carried some ap- 
prehension of divinity, yet was it not conceived to be the 
shape thereof; and so perhaps, because it is metaphorically 
predicated of God that he is a consuming fire, he may be 
harmlessly described by a flaming representation. Yet if, as 
some will have it, all mediocrity of folly is foolish, and be- 
cause an unrequitable evil may ensue, an indifferent conveni- 
ence must be omitted, we shall not urge such representments ; 
we could spare the Holy Lamb for the picture of our Savi- 
our, and the dove or fiery tongues to represent the Holy 

2. The sun and moon are usually described with human 
faces ; whether herein there be not a Pagan imitation, and 
those visages at first implied Apollo and Diana, we may 
make some doubt ; and we find the statue of the sun was 
framed with rays about the head, which were the indeciduous 
and unshaven locks of Apollo. We should be too iconomical * 
to question the pictures of the winds, as commonly drawn in 
human heads, and with their cheeks distended ; which not- 
withstanding we find condemned by Minutius, as answering 
poetical fancies, and the Gentile description of iEolus, Boreas, 
and the feigned deities of winds. 

3. s In divers pieces, and that signal one of Testa, 4 describ- 
ing Hector dragged by Achilles about the walls of Troy, we 

* Or quarrelsome with pictures. Dion. Ep. 1, a, ad Poliear. et Pet. Hall. not. 
in vit. S. Dionys, 

3 .] The rest of this chapter is now — In divers pieces, &c." 

first printed; — from ms. sloan, 1827, 4 Testa.] Pietro Testa, a painter of 

3 ; — where it is thus prefaced; — " Though Lucca and Rome, drowned 1632, in the 

some things we have elsewhere delivered Tyber, endeavouring to save his hat, 

of the impropriety, falsity, or mistakes, which had been blown off by a gust of 

in pictural draughts, yet to awaken your wind. — Gr. 
curiosity, these may be also considered. 


find him drawn by cords or fastenings about both his ancles ; 
which notwithstanding is not strictly answerable unto the 
account of Horner, concerning this act upon Hector, but 
rather applicable unto that of Hippothous drawing away the 
body of Patroclus, according to the expression of Homer : 

Hippothous pede trahebat in forti pugna per acrern pugnam. 
Ligatum loro ad malleolum circa tendines. — Horn, II. xvii, 289. 

For that act performed by Achilles upon Hector is more 
particularly described : 

Amborum retro pedum perforavit tendines 

Ad talum usque a calce, bubulaque innexuit lora 

De curruque ligavit ; caput vero trahi sivit. — Horn. H. xxii, 396. 

So that he bound not these ties about his feet, but made a 
perforation behind them, through which he ran the thongs, 
and so dragged him after his chariot : which was not hard to 
effect ; the strength of those tendons being able to hold in 
that tracture ; and is a common way practised by butchers, 
thus to hang their sheep and oxen. 5 

This, though an unworthy act, and so delivered by Homer, 
yet somewhat retaliated the intent of Hector himself towards 
the body of Patroclus, the intimate of Achilles ; and stands 
excused by Didymus upon the custom of the Thessalians, to 
drag the body of the homicide unto the grave of their slain 
friends ; and the example of Simon the Thessalian, who thus 
dealt with the body of Eurodamus, who had before slain his 

4. But, not to amuse you with pictures derived from Gen- 
tile histories, the draught of Potiphar's lady lying on a bed, 
and drawing Joseph unto her, seems additional unto the 
text, nor strictly justifiable from it ; wherein it is only said* 
that, after some former temptation, when Joseph came home 
to dispatch or order his affairs, and there was no man of the 
house then within, or with him, that she laid hold of his gar- 
ment, and said, " lye with me," without such apt preparations 
either of nakedness, or being in her bed, or the like opportu- 
nities, which pictures thereof have described. 

5 oxen."] In the royal library at Turin illuminations represents the burial of 
is a curious volume, containing the Iliad, Hector, and a train of Benedictines as- 
illustrated by the monks. One of the sisting in the funeral ceremony. 


5. The picture of Moses, praying between Hur and Aaron, 
seems to have miscarried in some draughts ; while some omit 
the rod which he should hold up in his hand ; and others 
describe him on his knees, with his hands supported by them : 
whereas it is plainly said in the text, that, when Moses was 
weary of standing, he sat down upon the rock. And there- 
fore, for the whole process, and full representation, there 
must be more than one draught ; the one representing him 
in station, the other in session, another in genuflexion. And 
though in this piece Aaron is allowed to be present on the 
hill at Rephidim, yet may he also challenge a place in the 
other piece of mount Sinai, (wherein he is often omitted,) 
according to the command of God unto Moses : " Thou shalt 
come up, thou and Aaron with thee ; but let not the priests 
nor the people break through, to come up unto the Lord." 

6. The picture of Jael nailing the head of Sisera unto the 
ground, seems questionable in some draughts ; while Sisera 
is made to lie in a prone posture, and the nail driven into the 
upper part of the head ; whereas it is plainly delivered that 
Jael struck the nail through his temples, and fastened him to 
the ground ; and which was the most proper and penetrable 
part of the skull ; such as a woman's hand might pierce, 
driving a large nail through, and longer than the breadth of 
a head, according to the description, — that she took no ordi- 
nary nail, but such as fastened her tent, and pierced his head, 
and the ground under it. 

7. An improper spectacle at a feast, and very incongruous 
unto the birth-day of a prince, a time of pardon and relaxa- 
tion, was the head of John the Baptist. More properly, in 
the noble picture thereof, the hand of Reuben hath left out 
the person of Herodias, who was not in the room, agreeably 
unto the delivery of St. Mark ; that, after Herod had pro- 
mised to grant her daughter whatever she would ask, she 
went out to enquire of her mother, Herodias, what she should 
demand. And that Salome, or her daughter, brought in the 
head of John unto Herod, as he was sitting at the table, 
though it well sets off the picture, is not expressed in the 
text ; wherein it is only said that she brought it unto her 


8. That King Ahasuerus feasted apart from the queen, is 
confirmable from Scripture account. Whether the queen 
were present at the fatal feast of Belshazzar seems of greater 
doubt ; forasmuch as it is said in the text, that, upon the 
fright and consternation of the king, when none of the Chal- 
deans could read the hand T writing on the wall, the queen 
came in, and recommended Daniel unto him. But if it be 
only meant and understood of the queen-mother, the draught 
may hold, and the licentia pictoria not culpable in that nota- 
ble piece of Tintoret or Bassano describing the feast of Bel- 
shazzar, wherein the queen is placed at the table with the 

9. Though some hands have failed, yet the draught of 
St. Peter in the prison is properly designed by Rubens, 
sleeping between two soldiers, and a chain on each arm ; and 
so illustrateth the text, that is, with two chains fastened unto 
his arms, and the one arm of each of the soldiers, according 
to the custom of those times, to fasten the prisoner unto his 
guard or keeper; and after which manner St. Paul is con- 
ceived to have had the liberty of going about Rome. 

10. In the picture of our Saviour sleeping in the ship, 
while in many draughts he is placed not far from the middle, 
or in the prow of the vessel, it is a variation from the text, 
which distinctly saith " at the poop," which being the highest 
part, was freest from the billows. Again, in some pieces he 
is made sleeping with his head hanging down; in others, on 
his elbow ; which amounteth not unto the textual expression, 
" upon a pillow," or some soft support, or at least, (as some 
conceive that emphatical expression may imply,) some part of 
the ship convenient to lean down the head. Besides, this 
picture might properly take in the concurrent account of the 
Scripture, and not describe a single ship, since the same de- 
livereth that there went off other navicular, or small vessels 
with it. 

11. Whilst the text delivereth that the tempter placed our 
Saviour (as we read it) upon the pinnacle of the temple, some 
draughts do place him upon the point of the highest turrets ; 
which, notwithstanding, Josephus describeth to have been 
made so sharp that birds might not light upon them ; and the 


word irrsgvyiov signifying a pinna? or some projecture of the 
building, it may probably be conceived to have been some 
plain place or jetty, from whence he might well cast himself 
down upon the ground, not falling upon any part of the tem- 
ple ; if there were no wing or prominent part of the building 
peculiarly called by that name. 

12. That piece of the three children in the fiery furnace, 
in several draughts, doth not conform unto the historical 
accounts : while in some they are described naked and bare- 
headed ; and in others with improper coverings on their 
heads. Whereas the contrary is delivered in the text, under 
all learned languages, and also by our own, with some expo- 
sitions in the margin : not naked in their bodies, (according 
to their figure in the Roma Sotterranea of Bosio, 7 among the 
sepulchral figures in the monument of St. Priscilla,) but hav- 
ing a loose habit, after the Persian mode, upon them, whereby 
it might be said that their garments did not so much as smell 
of the fire ; nor bare on their heads, as described in the first 
chamber of the cemetery of Priscilla, but having on it a 
tiara, or cap, after the Persian fashion, made somewhat 
reclining or falling agreeable unto the third table of the fifth 
cemetery, and the mode of the Persian subjects ; not a 
peaked, acuminated, and erected cap, proper unto their 
kings, as is set down in the medal of Antoninus, with the 
reverse, Armenin. A standard direction for this piece might 
probably be that ancient description set down in the calendar 
used by the Emperor Basilius Porphyrogenitus, and by Pope 
Paul the Fifth, given unto the Vatican, where it is yet con- 
served. 8 

6 the ivord, <^c] Unquestionably it ther be made to our author's collection of 
could not have been any thing like a pictorial inaccuracies, if such were fairly 
turret or pinnacle. Some commentators within our province. It rhay be allowed 
(Le Clerc) consider it a projecting por- to us, at least, to give one or two referen- 
tion of the building outside the parapet, ces to such additions. John Interian de 
Others (Rosenmuller) call it the flat roof Avala, a Spanish Monk, who died at 
of a portico. Madrid, in 1770, published a work on 

7 Roma, ^c] Jacques Bosio, Roma Sot- the errors of painters in representing re- 
terranea ; left imperfect by him, but pub- ligious subjects; it is entitled Pictor 
lished by his executor, Aldrovandini, fol. Christianus Eruditus, fol. 1720. 

1632; since translated into Latin, and In the European Magazine, for 178C, 

reprinted several times, with additions, vol. ix, p. 241, is noticed a very curious 

— Gr. work, (little known) by M. Phil. Rohr, 

8 Numerous additions might yet fur- entitled Pictor Errans, which was a- 




Compendiously of many popular Customs, Opinions, fyc. viz. 
of an Hare crossing the High-way ; of the ominous 
appearing of Owls and Ravens ; of the falling of Salt ; of 
breaking the Egg-shell; of the True Lovers Knot ; of 
the Cheek Burning or Ear Tingling; of speaking under 
the Rose ; of Smoke following the fair ; of Sitting cross- 
legged ; of hair upon Moles ; of the set time of paring of 
Nails; of Lions' heads upon Spouts and Cisterns; of 
the saying, Ungirt, Unblest ; of the Sun dancing on 
Easter-day; of the Silly-how; of being Drunk once a 
Month ; of the appearing of the Devil with a Cloven hoof. 

If an hare cross the high-way, 8 there are few above threescore 
years that are not perplexed thereat ; which notwithstanding 
is but an augurial terror, according to that received expres- 
sion, Inauspicatum dat iter oblatus lepus. And the ground 
of the conceit was probably no greater than this, that a fear- 
ful animal passing by us, portended unto us something to be 
feared : as upon the like consideration, the meeting of a fox 
presaged some future imposture ; which was a superstitious 
observation prohibited unto the Jews, as is expressed in the 
idolatry of Maimonides, and is referred unto the sin of an 
observer of fortunes, or one that abuseth events unto good or 
bad signs ; forbidden by the law of Moses ; which notwith- 
standing sometimes succeeding, according to fears or desires, 
have left impressions and timorous expectations in credulous 
minds for ever. 

bridged by Mr. W. Bowyer. Mr. Sin- Illustrations which are constantly issuing 

ger, in his Anecdotes of Spence, and Mr. from the hands of our artists, with the 

D'Israeli, in his Curiosities of Literature, works they are intended to illustrate, in 

have given some very amusing collecta- order to be frequently reminded of the 

nea of the kind. In the Monthly Ma- proverbial conclusion of the whole mat- 

gazine for 1812, are noticed several ter; — " it is even as pleaseth the painter,'' 
singular absurdities in costume ; and 8 hare."] When a hare crosseth us, 

undoubtedly many other such examples wee thinke itt ill lucke shee should soe 

would reward a diligent forage through neerely escape us, and we had not a dog 

our numerous periodical publications: — as neerc to catch her, — Wr. 
but it is only requisite to compare the 


2. That owls and ravens 9 are ominous appearers, and pre- 
signifying unlucky events, as Christians yet conceit, was also 
an augurial conception. Because many ravens were seen 
when Alexander entered Babylon, they were thought to pre- 
ominate his death ; and because an owl appeared before the 
battle, 1 it presaged the ruin of Crassus. Which, though 
decrepit superstitions, and such as had their nativity in times 
beyond all history, are fresh in the observation of many heads, 
and by the credulous and feminine party still in some majesty 
among us. And therefore the emblem of superstition was 
well set out by Ripa,* in the picture of an owl, an hare, and 
an old woman. And it no way confirmeth the augurial con- 
sideration, that an owl is a forbidden food in the law of 
Moses ; or that Jerusalem was threatened by the raven and 
the owl, in that expression of Isa. xxxiv ; that it should be 
" a court for owls, that the cormorant and the bittern should 
possess it, and the owl and the raven dwell in it ;" for there- 
by was only implied their ensuing desolation, as is expounded 
in the words succeding ; " He shall draw upon it the line of 
confusion, and the stones of emptiness." 2 

* Iconologia de Ccesare. 

9 ravens] The raven by his accute place here. " Plinie writeth that if, 

sense of smelling, discernes the savour when you first hear the cuckoo, you 

of the dying bodyes at the tops of chim- mark well where your right foot stand- 

nies, and that makes them flutter about eth, and take up of that earth, the 

the windows, as they use to doe in the fleas will by no means breed, either in 

searche of a carcasse. Now bycause your house or chamber, where any of 

whereever they doe this, itt is an evident the same earth is thrown or scattered ! " 

signe that the sick party seldome escapes Hill's Natural and Artificial Conclusions, 

deathe : thence ignorant people counte 1650. In the North, and perhaps all 

them ominous, as foreboding deathe, and over England, it is vulgarly accounted 

in some kind as causing deathe, whereof an unlucky omen, if you have no money 

they have a sense indeed, but are noe in your pocket, when you hear the 

cause at all. Of owles there is not the cuckoo for the first time in a season, 

same opinion, especially in country-men, Queen Bee, ii, 20. — Jeff. 
who thinke as well of them in the barne It would perhaps be rather difficult to 

as of the cat in the house : but in great say under what circumstances most peo- 

cityes where they are not frequent, their pie would not consider such a state of 

shriking and horrid note in the night is pocket an " unlucky omen." 
offensive to women and children, and It is a still more common popular di- 

such as are weake or sicklye. — Wr. vination, for those who are unmarried to 

On the owl, as an ominous bird, see count the number of years yet allotted to 

The Queen Bee, ii, 22. — Jeff. them of single blessedness, by the num- 

1 the battle,'] With the Parthians ber of the cuckoo's notes which they 
near Charrse. count when first they hear it in the 

2 emptiness.] It is rather singular spring, 
that the cuckoo is not honoured with a 

M 2 



[dook V. 

3. The falling of salt 3 is an authentic presagement of ill- 
luck, nor can every temper contemn it ; from whence not" 
withstanding nothing can be naturally feared ; nor was the 
same a general prognostick of future evil among the ancients, 
but a particular omination concerning the breach of friend- 
ship. For salt, 4 as incorruptible, was the symbol of friendship, 
and, before the other service, was offered unto their guests ; 
which, if it casually fell, was accounted, ominous, and. their 
amity of no duration. But whether salt 5 were not only a 
symbol of friendship with man, but also a figure of amity and 
reconciliation with God, and was therefore observed in sacri- 
fices, is an higher speculation. 6 

4. To break the egg-shell after the meat is out, we are 
taught in our childhood, and practise it all our lives ; which 
nevertheless is but a superstitious relique, according to the 
judgment of Pliny ; Hue pertinet ovorum, ut exsorbuerit quis- 
que calices protimisfrangi, aid eosdem cochlearibus perforari; 
and the intent hereof was to prevent witchcraft ; 7 for lest 
witches 8 should draw or prick their names herein, and vene- 

3 salt] Where salt is deare, 'tis as ill 
caste on the ground as bread. And soe 
itt is in France, where they pay for every 
bushel 40s. to the king ; and cannot 
have itt elsewhere : and soe when a glass 
is spilt 'tis ill lucke to loose a good cup 
of wine. — Wr. 

4 For salt, #c] The hospitality most 
liberally shown by Mr. Ackerman of the 
Strand, to the Cossack veteran, Alexan- 
der Zemlenuten, in 1815, was highly 
estimated by the stranger, who in de- 
scribing his generous reception used the 
exclamation, " He gave me bread and 
salt." This is mentioned in the 41st 
vol. of the Monthly Magazine — and il- 
lustrated by a sketch of the opinions and 
feelings of the ancients respecting this 
"'incorruptible symbol of friendship." — 
Leonardo da Vinci, in his picture of the 
last supper, has represented Judas Is- 
cariot as having overturned the salt. — 


Capt. M'Leod, in his voyage of the 
Alceste, says that in an island near the 
straits of Gaspar, " salt was received 
with the same horror as arsenic." 

6 But whether salt, fyc] First added 
in 2nd edition. 

6 also a figure] In the first vol. of 
Blackwood's Magazine will be found a 
paper on the symbolical uses of salt, 
p. 579. In the same volume also occur 
several papers on the use made formerly 
of the salt-cellar (which was often large, 
ornamented and valuable, and placed 
in the centre of the table) as a point of 
separation between guests of higher and 
lower degree. — To drink heloiu the salt 
was a condescension ; to attain a seat above 
it, an object of ambition. — See Bishop 
Hall's Satires, No. vi, b. 28. 

Among the regalia used at the king's 
coronation, is the salt of state, to be 
placed in the centre of the dinner table, 
in the form of a castle with towers, 
richly embellished with various coloured 
stones, elegantly chased, and of silver, 
richly gilt. This, it is said, was presen- 
ted to King Charles II. by the City of 
Exeter.— Jeff. 

7 to prevent witchcraft.] "To keep 
the fairies out," as they say in Cumber- 
land.— Jeff. 

8 lest witches] Least they perchance 
might use them for boates (as they 
thought) to sayle in by night. — Wr. 


ficiously mischief their persons, they broke the shell, as 
Dalecampius hath observed. 

5. The true lovers' knot 9 is very much magnified, and still 
retained in presents of love among us ; which though in all 
points it doth not make out, had perhaps its original from the 
nodus Her culanus, or that which was called Hercules his knot, 
resembling the snaky complication in the caduceus or rod of 
Hermes ; and in which form the zone or woollen girdle of 
the bride was fastened, as Turnebus observeth in his 

6. When our cheek burnetii or ear tingleth, 1 we usually say 
that some body is talking of us, which is an ancient conceit, 
and ranked among superstitious opinions by Pliny ; Absentes 
tinnitu aur'ium prcesentire sermones de se, receptum est ; ac- 
cording to that distich noted by Dalecampius ; 

Garrula quid totis resonas mihi noctibus auris ? 
Nescio quern dicis nunc meminisse mei. 

Which is a conceit hardly to be made out without the 
concession of a signifying genius, or universal Mercury, con- 
ducting sounds unto their distant subjects, and teaching us to 
hear by touch. 

7. When we desire to confine our words, we commonly say 
they are spoken under the rose ; 2 which expression is com- 
mendable, if the rose from any natural property may be the 
symbol of silence, as Nazianzen seems to imply in these 
translated verses ; 

9 lovers' knot] The true lovers' knot, thoughe (as of manye other such like) 

is magnified, for the moral signification they know not the original!. — Wr. 

not esilyuntyed; and for the natnrall, — Warburton, (says Brand) commenting 

bycause itt is a knot both wayes, that is, on that passage of Shakspeare in Hen. 

two knots in one. — Wr. VI. 

1 tingleth,] The singing of the eare " From off this briar P luck a white rose with 
is frequent upon the least cold seizing jjj, e pp0geg the present saying t0 have ori - 
on the brame : but to make construction ginated in the struggle bet ween the two 
hereof, as yf itt were the silent liumme houses of y ork and Lancaster . ; n vvh i c h 
of some absent friendly soule (especially se must v often have been en . 
falling most to bee observed m the night, jo i ne d, on various occasions, and probably 
when few friends are awake) is one of was g0 „ under fhe rose> „ 

the dotages ofthe heathen.— tfr. In p , g Anmymima the symbo l 

2 rose,] Of those that commonly of silence is referred t0 the ,. ose on a 
use this proverb few, besides the learned, cleryman . s hat and de rived from the 
can give a reason why they use itt: itt is silence which popish priests kep t as to 
sufficient that all men kiiowe what wee the confessions of lheir peop le. _,/,#. 
meane by that old forme of speechc, 


Utque latet Rosa verna suo putamine clausa, 
Sic os vincla ferat, validisque arctetur habenis, 
Indicatque suis prolixa silentia labris: 

And is also tolerable, if by desiring a secrecy to words 
spoken under the rose, we only mean in society and compo- 
tation, from the ancient custom in symposiack meetings, to 
wear chaplets of roses about their heads : and so we condemn 
not the German custom, which over the table describeth a 
rose in the cieling. But more considerable it is, if the origi- 
nal were such as Lemnius and others have recorded, that the 
rose was the flower of Venus, which Cupid consecrated unto 
Harpocrates the God of silence, and was therefore an em- 
blem thereof, to conceal the pranks of venery, as is declared 
in this tetrastich : 

Est rosa flos Veneris, cujus qu6 facta laterent, 

Harpocrati matris, dona dicavit amor ; 
Inde rosam mensis hospes suspendit amicis, 

Convivae ut sub ea dicta tacenda sciant. 3 

8. That smoke doth follow the fairest, 4 is an usual saying 
with us, 5 and in many parts of Europe; whereof although 
there seem no natural ground, yet is it the continuation of a 
very ancient opinion, as Petrus, Victorius, and Casaubon have 
observed from a passage in Atheneeus ; wherein a parasite thus 
describeth himself: 

To every table first I come, 

Whence porridge I am call'd by some : 

A Capaneus at stairs I am, 

To enter any room a ram ; 

Like whips and thongs to all I ply, 

Like smoke unto the fair I fly. 

9. To sit cross-legged, 6 or with our fingers pectinated or 
shut together, is accounted bad, and friends will persuade us 

3 sciant.] The discourses of the table seems to imply that he considered the 
among true loving friendes require as saying to have become extinct since the 
stride silence, as those of the bed be- days of Browne. This is by no means 
tween the married Wr. the case. It is still very common in 

4 fairest,] The fairest and tenderest Norfolk. 

complexions are soonest offended with 6 To sit cross-legged,'] There is more 

itt: and therefore when they complain, incivilitye in this forme of sitting, then 

men use this suppling proverb. — Wr. malice or superstition; and may sooner 

5 an usual saying with us,] An ob- move our spleen to a smile then a chafe, 
servation of Brand {Popular Antiquities) — Wr. 


from it. The same conceit religiously possessed the ancients 
as is observable from Pliny ; poplites alternis genibus impo- 
nere nefas olim ; and also from Athenaeus, that it was an old 
veneficious practice, and Juno is made in this posture to hin- 
der the delivery of Alcmsena. And therefore, as Pierius 
observeth, in the medal of Julia Pia, the right-hand of Venus 
was made extended with the inscription of Venus Genitrix ; 
for the complication or pectination of the fingers was an 
hieroglyphick of impediment, as in that place he declareth. 

10. The set and statary times of pairing of nails, and cut- 
ting of hair, 7 is thought by many a point of consideration • 
which is perhaps but the continuation of an ancient supersti- 
tion. For piaculous 8 it was unto the Romans to pare their 
nails upon the Nundinas, observed every ninth day ; and was 
also feared by others in certain days of the week ; according 
to that of Ausonius, Ungues Mercurio, Barbam Jove, Cy- 
pride Crines ; and was one part of the wickedness that filled 
up the measure of Manasses, when 'tis delivered that he ob- 
served times.* 

11. A common fashion is to nourish hair upon the moles ol 
the face ; which is the perpetuation of a very ancient custom ; 
and, though innocently practised among us, may have a super- 
stitious original, according to that of Pliny : Ncevos in facie 
tondere religiosum habent nunc multi. From the like might 
proceed the fears of polling elvelocks 9 or complicated hairs 
off the heads, and also of locks longer than the other hair ; 
they being votary at first, and dedicated upon occasion ; pre- 
served with great care, and accordingly esteemed by others, 
as appears by that of Apuleius, adjuro per dulcem capilli tut 

* 1 Chron. xxxv. 

7 haire,~\ They that would encrease the applied to the nayles Wr. Oh! Mr. 

haire maye doe well to observe the in- Dean ! 

creasing moone at all times, but especially 8 piaculous] Requiring expiation, 

in Taurus or Cancer: they that would hin- 9 elvelocks] Such is the danger of cut- 

der the growthe, in the decrease of the ting a haire in the Hungarian knot that 

moone, especially in Capricomns or Scor- the blood will flow out of itt, as by a 

pio : and this is soe far from superstitious quill, and will not bee stanched. And 

folly that it savours of one guided by the thence perhaps the custome first sprange, 

rules of the wise in physic. And what though since abused. — Wr. 
is sayd of the haire may bee as fitly 


12. A custom there is in some parts of Europe to adorn 
aqueducts, spouts and cisterns with lions' heads ; which though 
no illaudable ornament, is of an Egyptian genealogy, who 
practised the same under a symbolical illation. For because, 
the sun being in Leo, the flood of Nilus was at the full, and 
water became conveyed into every part, they made the spouts 
of their aqueducts through the head of a lion. 1 And upon 
some celestial respects it is not improbable the great Mogul 
or Indian king both bear for his arms a lion and the sun. 2 

13. Many conceive there is somewhat amiss, and that as we 
usually say, they are unblest, until they put on their girdle. 
Wherein (although most know not what they say) there are 
involved unknown considerations. For by a girdle or cincture 
are symbolically implied truth, resolution, and readiness unto 
action, which are parts and virtues required in the service of 
God. According whereto we find that the Israelites did eat 
the paschal lamb with their loins girded; 3 and the Almighty 
challenging Job, bids him gird up his loins like a man. So 
runneth the expression of Peter, " Gird up the loins of your 
minds, be sober and hope to the end;" so the high priest 
was girt with the girdle of fine linen ; so is it part of the holy 
habit to have our loins girt about with truth ; and so is it also 
said concerning our Saviour, " Righteousness shall be the 
girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins." 

Moreover by the girdle, the heart and parts which God 
requires are divided from the inferior and concupiscential or- 
gans ; implying thereby a memento, unto purification and 
cleanness of heart, which is commonly defiled from the con- 
cupiscence and affection of those parts ; and therefore unto 
this day the Jews do bless themselves when they put on their 

* Isa. xi. 

1 l'wn.~\ Architects practise this forme tian, partly in observation of the old 
still, for noe other reason then the beau- precept of St. Paule, [Ephes. vi, 14,] 
tye of itt — Wr. and partly in imitation of him in the 

2 sun,] These two are the emblems first of the revelation, who is described 
ofmajestye: the sonne signifying singu- doubly girt, about the paps, and about 
larity of incommunicable glory : the the loyns. See the Icon of St. Paul 
lyon sole soveraintye, or monarchall before his Epistles, in the Italian Testa- 
power; and therefore most sutable to ment, at Lions, 1556'. — Wr. 

their grandour. — Wr. The Israelites ate the paschal lamb 

3 girded] I suppose this innocent with their loins girt, as being in readiness 
custome is most comely and most Chris- to take their journey (from Egypt). 


zone or cincture. And thus may we make out the doctrine of 
Pythagoras, to offer sacrifice with our feet naked, that is, 
that our inferior parts, and farthest removed from reason, 
might be free, and of no impediment unto us. Thus Achil- 
les, though dipped in Styx, yet, having his heel untouched by 
that water, although he were fortified elsewhere, he was slain 
in that part, as only vulnerable in the inferior and brutal part 
of man. This is that part of Eve and her posterity the 
devil still doth bruise, that is, that part of the soul which 
adhereth unto earth, and walks in the path thereof. And in 
this secondary and symbolical sense it may be also understood, 
when the priests in the law washed their feet before the 
sacrifice ; when our Saviour washed the feet of his disciples, 
and said unto Peter, " If I wash not thy feet, thou hast no 
part in me." And thus is it symbolically explainable, and 
implieth purification and cleanness, when in the burnt-offer- 
ings the priest is commanded to wash the inwards and legs 
thereof in water ; and in the peace and sin-offerings, to burn 
the two kidneys, the fat which is about the flanks, and as we 
translate it, the caul above the liver. But whether the Jews, 
when they blessed themselves, had any eye unto the words 
of Jeremy, wherein God makes them his girdle ; or had 
therein any reference unto the girdle, which the prophet was 
commanded to hide in the hole of the rock of Euphrates, 
and which was the type of their captivity, we leave unto 
higher conjecture. 

14. We shall not, I hope, disparage the resurrection of 
our Redeemer, if we say the sun doth not dance on Easter- 
day. And though we would willingly assent unto any sym- 
pathetical exultation, yet cannot conceive therein any more 
than a tropical expression. Whether any such motion there 
were in that day wherein Christ arose, Scripture hath not 
revealed, which hath been punctual in other records concern- 
ing solary miracles ; and the Areopagite, that was amazed at 
the eclipse, took no notice of this. And if metaphorical ex- 
pressions go so far, we may be bold to affirm, not only that 
one sun danced, but two arose that day: — that light appear- 
ed at his nativity, and darkness at his death, and yet a light 
at both ; for even that darkness was a light unto the Gentiles, 


illuminated by that obscurity: — that it was the first time the 
sun set above the horizon : — that although there were darkness 
above the earth, there was light beneath it ; nor dare we say 
that hell was dark if he were in it. 

15. Great conceits are raised of the involution or membra- 
nous covering, commonly called the silly-how, that sometimes 
is found about the heads of children upon their birth, and is 
therefore preserved with great care, not only as medical in 
diseases, but effectual in success, concerning the infant and 
others, which is surely no more than a continued supersti- 
tion. For hereof we read in the Life of Antoninus, delivered 
by Spartianus, that children are born sometimes with this 
natural cap ; which midwives were wont to sell unto credu- 
lous lawyers, who had an opinion it advantaged their pro- 
motion. 4 

But to speak strictly, the effect is natural, and thus may 
be conceived : animal conceptions have (largely taken) three 
teguments, or membranous films, which cover them in the 
womb ; that is, the chorion, amnios, and allantois. The 
chorion is the outward membrane, wherein are implanted the 
veins, arteries, and umbilical vessels, whereby its nourishment 
is conveyed. The allantois is a thin coat seated under the 
chorion, wherein are received the watery separations convey- 
ed by the urachus, that the acrimony thereof should not 
offend the skin. The amnios is a general investment, con- 
taining the sudorous or thin serosity perspirable through the 

4 promotion.'] By making them gra- all accidents by sea and land, has long 

cious in pleadinge : to whom I thinke itt been experienced, and is universally ac- 

was sufficient punishment, that they knowledged : the present phenomenon 

bought not wit, but folly so deare. — Wr. was produced on the 4th of March inst. 

Even till recently the opinion has and covered not only the head, but the 

been held, that a child's caul, (silly-how) whole body and limbs of a fine female 

would preserve a person from drowning ! infant, the daughter of a respectable 

In the Times of May Cth, 1814, were master tradesman. Apply at No. 49, 

three advertisements of fine cauls to be Gee Street, Goswell Street, where a 

sold at considerable prices specified. The reference will be given to the eminent 

following appear at subsequent dates: — physician who officiated at the birth of 

"To voyagers. A child's caul to be the child." Times, March 9th, 1820. 

sold for 15 guineas. Apply, &c." Times, Another advertised, £6, Times, Sept. 5th, 

Dec. 8th, IS 19. 1S20. Another for 12 guineas, ditto, 

Another for 16 guineas: Times, Dec. Jan. 23rd, 1824. See New Monthly 

16th, 1S29. Mag. May, July, Aug. 1814. 

" A child's caul to be disposed of. The Intellect, surely, was not yet in full 

efficacy of this wonderful production of inarch at this period, 
nature, in preserving the possessor from 


skin. Now about the time when the infant breaketh these 
coverings, it sometimes carrieth with it, about the head, a part 
of the amnois or nearest coat ; which, saith Spigelius,* either 
proceedeth from the toughness of the membrane, or weakness 
of the infant that cannot get clear thereof. And therefore, 
herein significations are natural and concluding upon the 
infant, but not to be extended unto magical signalities, or any 
other person. 

16. That it is good to be drunk once a month, is a com- 
mon flattery of sensuality, supporting itself upon physick, 
and the healthful effects of inebriation. 5 This indeed seems 
plainly affirmed by Avicenna, a physician of great authority, 
and whose religion, prohibiting wine, could less extenuate 
ebriety. But Averroes, a man of his own faith, was of ano- 
ther belief; restraining his ebriety unto hilarity, and in effect 
making no more thereof than Seneca commendeth, and was 
allowable in Cato ; that is, a sober incalescence and regulat- 
ed aestuation from wine ; or, what may be conceived between 
Joseph and his brethren, when the text expresseth they were 
merry, or drank largely ; and whereby indeed the commodi- 
ties set down by Avicenna, that is, alleviation of spirits, reso- 
lution of superfluities, provocation of sweat and urine, may 
also ensue. But as for dementation, sopition of reason and 
the diviner particle, from drink ; though American religion 
approve, and Pagan piety of old hath practised it, even at 
their sacrifices, Christian morality and the doctrine of Christ 
will not allow. And surely that religion which excuseth the 
fact of Noah, in the aged surprisal of six hundred years, and 
unexpected inebriation from the unknown effects of wine, 

* De Formato Fcetu. 

5 inebriation.'] Noe man could more divine ofspring of the human soule, which 

propevlye inveighe against this beastly is immortall, to put of itself for a mo- 

sinn, then a grave and learned physi- ment, or to assume the shape, or much 

tian, were itt for noe more but the ac- less the guise of (the uglyest beast) a 

quitting his noble faculty from the guilt swine, for any supposable benefit accru- 

of countenancinge a medicine soe loth- ing therby to this outward carcasse, es • 

some and soe odious. Certainlye itt can- pecially when itt may bee far better 

not but magnifie his sober spirit, that relieved by soe many excellent, easie, 

does make his own facultye (as Hagar to warrantable wayes of physick. — Wr. 
Sarah) vayle to divinity, the handmayd " Drunkenness (methinks) can neither 

to her lady and mistresse : especially become a wise philosopher to prescribe, 

seeinge the naturall man cannot but con- nor a virtuous man to practise." — Bp 

fesse that itt is base, unworthye the Hall, Heaven upon Earth, § 3. 


will neither acquit ebriosity 6 nor ebriety, in their known and 
intended perversions. 

And indeed although sometimes effects succeed which may 
relieve the body, yet if they carry mischief or peril unto the 
soul, we are therein restrainable by divinity, which circum- 
scribeth physick, and circumstantially determines the use 
thereof. From natural considerations physick commendeth 
the use of venery ; and haply incest, adultery, or stupration, 
may prove as physically advantageous as conjugal copulation ; 
which notwithstanding must not be drawn into practice. 
And truly effects, consequents, or events which we commend, 
arise ofttimes from ways which we all condemn. Thus from 
the fact of Lot v/e derive the generation of Ruth and blessed 
nativity of our Saviour ; which notwithstanding did not ex- 
tenuate the incestuous ebriety of the generator. And if, as 
is commonly urged, we think to extenuate ebriety from the 
benefit of vomit oft succeeding, Egyptian sobriety will con- 
demn us, which purged both ways twice a month without this 
perturbation ; and we foolishly contemn the liberal hand of 
God, and ample field of medicines which soberly produce 
that action. 

17. A conceit there is, that the devil commonly appeareth 
with a cloven hoof: 7 wherein, although it seem excessively 
ridiculous, there may be somewhat of truth ; and the ground 
thereof at first might be his frequent appearing in the shape 
of a goat, which answers that description. This was the 
opinion of ancient Christians concerning the apparition of 
Panites, fauns, and satyrs ; and in this form we read of one 
that appeared unto Antony in the wilderness. The same is 
also confirmed from expositions of Holy Scriptures ; for 
whereas it is said,* " Thou shalt not offer unto devils," the 

* Levit. xvii. 

6 ebriosity.~\ Habitual drunkenness. God cald those calves (raised by Jero- 

7 hoof.~\ "f is remarkable that of all boam for worship) devils: 2 Chron. xi, 
creatures the devil chose the cloven-foot- 15. And that he chose his priests of the 
ed, wherein to appeare, as satyrs, and lowest of the people was very suitable, 
goatishe monsters : the swine whereon For where their God was a calfe, ' twas 
to worke his malice : and the calves not improper that a butcher should bee 
wherein to bee worshiped as at Dan and the prcistc. — Wr. 

Bethel. For which cause the Spirit of 


original word is seghnirim, that is, rough and hairy goats, 
because in that shape the devil most often appeared ; as is 
expounded by the Rabbins, and Tremellius hath also explain- 
ed ; and as the word Ascimah, the god of Emath, is by some 
conceived. Nor did he only assume this shape in elder times, 
but commonly in latter times, especially in the place of his 
worship, if there be any truth in the confession of witches, 
and as in many stories it stands confirmed by Bodinus.* And 
therefore a goat is not improperly made the hieroglyphick of 
the devil, as Pierius hath expressed it. So might it be the 
emblem of sin, as it was in the sin-offering ; and so likewise 
of wicked and sinful men. according to the expression of 
Scripture in the method of the last distribution ; when our 
Saviour shall separate the sheep from the goats, that is, the 
sons of the Lamb from the children of the devil. 

* In his Dcemono mania- 



Of Popular Customs, Opinions, <yc. ; of the Prediction of 
the Year ensuing from the Insects in Oak Apples ; that 
Children would naturally speak Hebrew ; of refraining to 
hill Swallows ; of Lights burning dim at the Apparition of 
Spirits ; of the wearing of Coral ; of Moses' Rod in the 
Discovery of Mines ; of discovering doubtful matters by 
Book or Staff. 

1. That temperamental dignotions, and conjecture of preva- 
lent humours, may be collected from spots in our nails, we 
are not averse to concede ; but yet not ready to admit sun- 
dry divinations vulgarly raised upon them. Nor do we ob- 
serve it verified in others, what Cardan* discovered as a 
property in himself; to have found therein some signs of 
most events that ever happened unto him. Or that there is 
much considerable in that doctrine of cheiromancy, that spots 
in the top of the nails do signify things past ; in the middle, 
things present ; and at the bottom, events to come. That 
white specks presage our felicity ; blue ones our misfortunes. 
That those in the nail of the thumb have significations of hon- 
our; those in the forefinger of riches ; and so respectively in 
other fingers, (according to planetical relations, from whence 
they receive their names,) as Tricassus f hath taken up, and 
Picciolus well rejecteth. 8 

We shall not proceed to query, what truth there is in 
palmistry, or divination from those lines in our hands, of high 
denomination. Although if any thing be therein, it seems 
not confinable unto man ; but other creatures are also con- 

* De Varielate Rerum. f De Inspectionc Mantis. 

s spots, 8fC.~] This saying has remain- find their way into the nursery, shall 

ed to the present day. Such supersti- have given place to the general diffusion 

tions will only cease when the ignorance of knowledge — especially of religions 

of the lower orders, through whom they knowledge. 




siderable ; as is the forefoot of the mole, and especially of the 
monkey, wherein we have observed the table-line, that of life 
and of the liver. 

2. That children committed unto the school of nature, 
without institution, would naturally speak the primitive lan- 
guage of the world, was the opinion of ancient heathens, and 
continued since by Christians ; who will have it our Hebrew 
tongue, as being the language of Adam. That this were 
true, were much to be desired, not only for the easy attain- 
ment of that useful tongue, but to determine the true and 
primitive Hebrew. For whether the present Hebrew be the 
unconfounded language of Babel, and that which, remaining 
in Heber, was continued by Abraham and his posterity ; 9 or 

9 For whether the present Hebrew, &;c.~\ 
On the subject of this passage, patient 
and learned ingenuity has been exercis- 
ed in successive ages to afford us — only 
hypothesis and conjectures. And though 
it must be admitted that nothing more 
satisfactory can, in the nature of things, 
be expected, yet is it certain, that in 
order to constitute a thorough competency 
to propose even these, nothing less would 
suffice than the most profound acquaint- 
ance with history and geography from 
their remotest traces ; and an erudition 
competent to the analysis and classifica- 
tion, not only of the languages of anti- 
quity, but of those living tongues and 
dialects which now cover the earth, and 
to which modern discoveries are daily 
making additions. On the question, 
whether the confusion of tongues left one 
section or family of the existing popula- 
tion in possession of the pure and una- 
dulterated antediluvian language, I can- 
not perceive the materials for constructing 
even a conjecture. As to the theory here 
proposed, on which Abraham might un- 
derstand those nations among whom he 
sojourned, by his own means of philo- 
logical approximation, I cannot help feel- 
ing that it is almost like claiming for the 
patriarch an exemption from the operation 
of the confusion of tongues. Among the 
most recent works on this general class 
of questions, is Mr. Beke's Origines Bib- 
licce, a work in which some novel hypo- 
theses have called down on their author 
the criticism of those who differ from 
him ; while at the same time the tribute 
of praise has not been denied to the 
ability he has displayed, and especially 

to that spirit of reverence for scriptural 
authority which pervades his work. 

Mr. Beke first states his opinion, — in 
opposition to the more usual hypothesis 
which considers the languages of the 
Jews, Arabians, and other nations of 
similar character, to be the Semitic or 
Shemitish family of languages, — that this 
origin may more probably be assigned to 
those of Tibet, China, and all those na- 
tions of the east and south-east of Asia, 
which are manifestly distinct from the 
Japhthitish Hindoos and Tartars ; in- 
cluding the islands of the Indian Archi- 
pelago and the South Seas. He subse- 
quently gives the following reasons for 
attributing to the usually-called Semitic 
languages (namely, Hebrew, Chaldee, 
Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic of Abys- 
sinia,) " a Mitzrite, and therefore Hami- 
tish origin." " When the Almighty was 
pleased to call Abraham from his native 
country, the land of the Arphaxidites, or 
Chaldees, first into the country of Aram, 
and afterwards into that of Canaan, one 
of two things must necessarily have had 
place ; either that the inhabitants of these 
latter countries spoke the same language 
as himself, or else that he acquired the 
knowledge of the foreign tongues spoken 
by these people during his residence in 
the countries in which they were ver- 
nacular. That they all made use of the 
same language cannot be imagined. Even 
if it be assumed that the descendants of 
Arphaxad, Abraham's ancestor, and the 
Aramites, in whose territories Terah and 
his family first took up their residence, 
spoke the same language, or, at the fur- 
thest, merely dialects of the same original 



[book V. 

rather the language of Phoenicia and Canaan, wherein he 
lived, some learned men I perceive do yet remain unsatisfied. 
Although I confess probability stands fairest for the former; 
nor are they without all reason, who think that at the confu- 
sion of tongues, there was no constitution of a new speech in 

Shemitish tongue, we cannot suppose that 
this language would have resembled those 
which were spoken by the Hamitish Ca- 
naanites, and Philistines, in whose coun- 
tries Abraham afterwards sojourned, un- 
less we at the same time contend that 
the confusion of tongues at Babel was 
practically inoperative ; a conclusion, I 
apprehend, in which we should be di- 
rectly opposed to the express words of 
Scripture: Gen. xi, 1 — 9. 

" We have no alternative, therefore, as 
it would seem, but to consider (as, in 
fact, is the plain and obvious interpreta- 
tion of the circumstances,) that Abraham 
having travelled from his native place 
(a distance of above 500 miles,) to the 
'south country,' the land of the Philis- 
tines, where he 'sojourned many days,' 
he and his family would have acquired 
the language of the people amongst whom 
they thus took up their residence. But 
it may be objected that Abraham and his 
descendants, although living in a foreign 
country, and necessarily speaking the 
language of that country in their com- 
munications with its inhabitants, would 
also have retained the Aramitish tongue 
spoken in Haran, and that the inter- 
course between the two countries having 
been kept up, first by the marriage of 
Isaac with his cousin Rebekah, and sub- 
sequently by that of Jacob also with his 
cousins Leah and Rachel, and more es- 
pecially from the circumstance of Jacob's 
having so long resided in Padan-Aram, 
and of all his children, with the exception 
of Benjamin, having been born there, the 
family language of Jacob, at the time of 
his return into the ' south country,' must 
indisputably have been the Aramitish. 
It may be argued farther, that although 
for the purpose of holding communica- 
tion with the Canaanities and the Philis- 
tines, it was necessary to understand 
their languages also, yet that the lan- 
guage most familiar to Jacob and his 
household continued to be the Aramitish, 
until the period when they all left Ca- 
naan to go down into Mitzraim ; and 
hence it might be contended that no 
good reason exists for opposing the gene- 
rally received opinion, that the Hebrew- 

is the same Aramitish tongue which was 
taken by the Israelites into Mitzraim, it 
being only necessary to suppose that the 
language was preserved substantially 
without corruption during the whole 
time of their sojourning in that country. 

" But even admitting this argument, 
which however I am far from allowing 
to be conclusive ; how are we to explain 
the origin of the Arabic language ? This 
is clearly not of Aramitish derivation. It 
is the language which was spoken by the 
countrymen of Hagar, amongst whom 
Ishmael was taken by her to reside, and 
with whom he and his descendants speed- 
ily became mixed up and completely 
identified. Among these people it is not 
possible that the slightest portion of the 
Aramitish tongue of Abraham should 
have existed before the time of Ishmael ; 
nor can be conceived that the Mitzritish 
descendants of the latter would have ac- 
quired that language through him, even 
supposing (though I consider it to be far 
from an established fact) that the Aram- 
itish had continued to be the only lan- 
guage which was spoken by Abraham's 
family during the whole of his residence 
in the south country among the Canaan- 
ites and Philistines ; and supposing, also, 
that Ishmael acquired a perfect know- 
ledge of that language, and of no other, 
(which, however, is very improbable, his 
mother being a Mitzrite,) from the cir- 
cumstance of his childhood having been 
passed in his father's house. 

"I apprehend, indeed, that the Mitz- 
ritish origin of the Arabic language is a 
fact which cannot he disputed ; and if 
this fact be conceded, there remains no 
alternative but to admit — indeed it is a 
mere truism to say — that the Hebrew, 
which is a cognate dialect with the Ara- 
bic, must be of common origin with that 
language, and consequently of Mitzritish 

derivation also The fact of 

the striking coincidences which may be 
found in the language of the Berbers, in 
Northern Africa, with the languages of 
cognate origin with the Hebrew, is in the 
highest degree confirmatory of the Hami- 
tish origin which I attribute to the whole 
of them ; and it becomes the more par- 


every family, but a variation and permutation of the old ; out 
of one common language raising several dialects, the primitive 
tongue remaining still entire. Which they who retained, 
might make a shift to understand most of the rest. By virtue 
whereof in those primitive times and greener confusions, 
Abraham, of the family of Heber, was able to converse with 
the Chaldeans, to understand Mesopotamians, Canaanites, 
Philistines, and Egyptians : whose several dialects he could 
reduce unto the original and primitive tongue, and so be able 
to understand them. 

3. Though useless unto us, and rather of molestation, * we 
commonly refrain from killing swallows, and esteem it un- 
lucky ~ to destroy them : whether herein there be not a 
Pagan relick, we have some reason to doubt. For we read in 
yElian, that these birds were sacred unto the Penates or 
household gods of the ancients, and therefore were preserv- 
ed.* The same they also honoured as the nuncios of the 
spring ; and we find in Athenseus that the Rhodians had a 
solemn song to welcome in the swallow. 

4. That candles and lights burn dim and blue at the ap- 
parition of spirits, may be true, if the ambient air be full of 
sulphureous spirits, as it happeneth ofttimes in mines, where 

* The same is extant in the 8th of Athenaeus . 

ticularly so, on the consideration that I historian and a philologist, — the Rev. 

derive the Berbers themselves directly W. D. Conybeare, who supports, (in 

from the country where I conceive the his Elementary Course of Lectures, on 

Israelites to have acquired their Ian- the Criticism, Interpretation, and Lead- 

guage." ing Doctrines of the Bible,) the more 

As to the nature and degree of change usually received opinion, that Hebrew, 

which took place in the existing language and the cognate languages, are of Shem- 

at its confusion, Mr. Beke contends, itish origin. 

" that the idea of an absolute and per- J useless, <^c] This is a most unde- 

manent change of dialect is more strictly served censure. The swallows are very 

in accordance with the literal meaning of useful in destroying myriads of insects, 

the scriptural account of the confusion of which would be injurious, 
tongues, than the supposition that the 2 and esteem it unlucky, 8fC.~\ A simi- 

consequences of that miraculous occur- lar superstition attaches to the robin and 

rence were of a temporary nature only, the wren ; — the tradition is, that if their 

and that the whole of the present diver- nests are robbed, the cows will give 

sities in the languages of the world are bloody milk; — schoolboys rarely are 

to be referred to the gradual operation of found hardy enough to commit such a 

subsequent causes." depredation on these birds, of which the 

In the foregoing sentence, and still common people in some parts of Eng- 

more in the disquisition which precedes land have this legend — 
it, Mr. Beke's opinion is in opposition to „ ,. , y w 

a very high authority both as a natural Are God Almighty's cocks and hens. 



damps and acid exhalations are able to extinguish them. 
And may be also verified, when spirits do make themselves 
visible by bodies of such effluviums. But of lower consider- 
ation is the common foretelling of strangers, from the fungous 
parcels about the wicks of candles ; which only signifieth a 
moist and pluvious air about them, hindering the avolation of 
the light and favillous particles ; whereupon they are forced 
to settle upon the snast. 3 

5. Though coral doth properly preserve and fasten the 
teeth in men, yet is it used in children to make an easier 
passage for them : and for that intent is worn about their 
necks. But whether this custom were not superstitiously 
founded, as presumed an amulet or defensative against fasci- 
nation, is not beyond all doubt. For the same is delivered 
by Pliny ;* Aruspices religiosum coralli gestamen amoliendis 
periculis arbitrantur ; et surculi infantia alligati, tutelam 
habere creduntur. 4 ' 

6 A strange kind of exploration and peculiar way of rhab- 
domancy is that which is used in mineral discoveries ; that is, 
with a forked hazel, commonly called Moses' rod, which 
freely held forth, will stir and play if any mine be under it. 
And though many there are who have attempted to make it 
good, yet until better information, we are of opinion with 
Agricola,-j- that in itself it is a fruitless exploration, 5 strongly 

* Lib. xxxii. f Be Re Metallica, lib. ii. 

3 snast.'] The Norfolk (and perhaps — by a philosopher of unimpeachable ve- 
other folk's) vulgar term, signifying the racity, and a chemist, Mr. Win. Cook- 
burnt portion of the wick of the candle; worthy of Plymouth. Pryce also informs 
which, when sufficiently lengthened by us, p. 123, of his Mineralogia Comubi- 
want of snuffing, becomes crowned with ensis, that many mines have been disco- 
a cap of the purest lamp-black, called vered by means of the rod, and quotes 
here, "the fungous parcels, &c." several ; but, after a long account bf the 

4 That temperamental, fyc] The first mode of cutting, tying, and using it, 
five sections of this chapter were first interspersed with observations on the 
added in the 2nd edit. discriminating faculties of constitutions 

5 exploration.'] This is worthy of note and persons in its use, altogether rejects 
bycause itt is averred by manye authors it, because ' Cornwall is so plentifully 
of whom the world hath a great opinion, stored with tin and copper lodes, that 
— Wr. some accident every week discovers to 

From a paper by Mr. Wm. Philips, in us a fresh vein,' and because 'a grain of 

Tilloch's Philosophical Magazine, vol. metal attracts the rod as strongly as a 

xiii, p. 309, on the divining rod, it ap- pound,' for which reason 'it has been 

pears that it was ably advocated by De found to dip equally to a poor as to a rich 

Thouvenel, in France, in the 18th cen- lode.' — See Trans. Geol. Soc. ii, 123. 
tury, and soon after— in our own country 


scenting of Pagan derivation, and the virgula divina, prover- 
bially magnified of old. The ground whereof were the magi- 
cal rods in poets, that of Pallas in Homer, that of Mercury 
that charmed Argus, and that of Circe which transformed 
the followers of Ulysses. Too boldly usurping the name of 
Moses' rod, from which notwithstanding, and that of Aaron, 
were probably occasioned the fables of all the rest. For that 
of Moses must needs be famous unto the Egyptians; and 
that of Aaron unto many other nations, as being preserved 
in the ark, until the destruction of the temple built by 

7. A practice there is among us to determine doubtful 
matters, by the opening 6 of a book, and letting fall a staff, 
which notwithstanding are ancient fragments of Pagan divi- 
nations. The first an imitation of sortes Homerices, or Vir- 
giliance? drawing determinations from verses casually occur- 
ring. The same was practised by Severus, who entertained 
ominous hopes of the empire, from that verse in Virgil, Tu 
regere i?nperio popidos, Romane, memento ; and Gordianus, 
who reigned but few days, was discouraged by another ; that 
is, Ostendunt terris hunc tantum fata, nee ultra esse sinunt. 8 

6 opening.! For the casual opening of Nor Jet him then enjoy supreme command,! 

„. , ° J ,» , , T , . . . But tall untimely bv some hostile hand, > 

a Bible, see. Cardan, de f'arietate, p. And lie unburied in the common sand. ) 
1040.— W>. 

' Virgiliance.~\ King Charles T. tried the It is said King Charles seemed con- 
sort Virgiliana, as is related by Wei- cerned at this accident ; and that the 
wood in the following passage:— Lord Falkland observing it, would like- 

" The King being at Oxford during the wise try his own fortune in the same 

civil wars, went one day to see the pub- manner ; hoping he might fall upon some 

lie library, where he was showed among passage that could have no relation to 

other books, a Virgil nobly printed, and his case, and thereby divert the king's 

exquisitely bound. The Lord Falkland, thoughts from any impression the other 

to divert the king, would have his ma- might have upon him ; But the place that 

jesty make a trial of his fortune by the Falkland stumbled upon, was yet more 

sortes Virgiliance, which every body suited to his destiny than the other had 

knows was an usual kind of augury some been to the king's; being the following 

ages past. Whereupon the king opening expressions of Evander, upon the un- 

the book, the period which happened to timely death of his son Pallas, as they 

come up, was that part of Dido's impre- are translated by the same hand. 

cation aa-ainst iEneas ; which Mr. Dry- ..,,.*, ,■ , , j „,j 

, . 8 , . ., ' O Pallas ! thou hast fail'd thy plighted word, 

(len translates tllUS : Xo fight with reason; not to tempt the sword. 

Yet let a race untam'd, and haughty foes, I warn'd thee but in Tain, for well I knew 

His peaceful entrance with dire arms oppose. V> hat perils youthiul ardour would pursue , 

Oppress'd with numbers in th' unequal field, J hat boiling blood would carry thee too tar, 

His men disoourag'd and himself expell'd, Young as thou wert in dangers, raw to war. 

Let him for succour sue from place to place, O curst essay of aims, disast rous doom, 

Tom from his subjects, and his son's embrace, Prelude of bloody fields and fights to come. 
First let him see his friends in battle slain, 
And their untimely fate lament in vain : 8 sinunt.'] Of all Other, I cannot but 

{M^J&^£2.t&Z m™ f e ' admire that ominous dreame of Conslaus, 

N 2 

On hard conditions may he buy his peace ; 


Nor was this only performed in heathen authors, but upon 
the sacred text of Scripture, as Gregorius Turonensis hath 
left some account ; and as the practice of the Emperor 
Heraclius, before his expedition into Asia Minor, is delivered 
by Cedrenus. 

As for the divination or decision from the staff, it is an 
augurial relick, and the practice thereof is accused by God 
himself; " My people ask counsel of their stocks, and their 
staff declareth unto them."* Of this kind of rhabdomancy 
was that practised by Nebuchadnezzar in that Chaldean mis- 
cellany, delivered by Ezekiel; " The King of Babylon stood 
at the parting of the way, at the head of two ways to use 
divination, he made his arrows bright, he consulted with 
images, he looked in the liver ; at the right hand were the 
divinations of Jerusalem."-]- That is, as Estius expounded 
it, the left way leading unto Rabbah, the chief city of the 
Ammonites, and the right unto Jerusalem, he consulted idols 
and entrails, he threw up a bundle of arrows to see which 
way they would light, and falling on the right hand he 
marched towards Jerusalem. A like way of belomancy or 
divination by arrows hath been in request with Scythians, 
Alanes, Germans, with the Africans and Turks of Algier. 
But of another nature was that which was practised by 
Elisha, X when, by an arrow shot from an eastern window, he 
presignified the destruction of Syria; or when, according 
unto the three strokes of Joash, with an arrow upon the 
ground, he foretold the number of his victories. For there- 
by the Spirit of God particulared the same, and determined 
the strokes of the king, unto three, which the hopes of the 
prophet expected in twice that number. 9 

8. We cannot omit to observe the tenacity of ancient cus- 
toms, in the nominal observation of the several days of the 
week, according to Gentile and Pagan appellations ; § for the 

* Hosca iv. f Ezek. xxiv. 

X 2 Kings xiii, xv. § Dion. Cassii, lib. xxxvii. 

the Emperor, the sonne of Heracleonas, dXXui N/X^i/, which the next day prov- 

and father of Pogonatus, anno imperii, ct i t 00 true. Wr. 

13, who beinge to fight with barbarians a j s f or (he divination, #e.] This pa- 

the next morne, near Thessalomca, ra graph, and the three following, were 

thought hee heard one eryinge ©=£ first added in the second edition. 


original is very high, and as old as the ancient Egyptians, 
who named the same according to the seven planets, the 
admired stars of heaven, and reputed deities among them. 
Unto every one assigning a several day; not according to 
their celestial order, or as they are disposed in heaven, but 
after a diatesseron or musical fourth. For beginning Saturday 
with Saturn, the supremest planet, they accounted by Jupi- 
ter and Mars unto Sol, making Sunday. From Sol in like 
manner by Venus and Mercury unto Luna, making Monday : 
and so through all the rest. And the same order they con- 
firmed by numbering the hours of the day unto twenty- four, 
according to the natural order of the planets. For beginning 
to account from Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and so about unto 
twenty- four, the next day will fall unto Sol ; whence account- 
ing twenty-four, the next will happen unto Luna, making 
Monday : and so with the rest, according to the account and 
order observed still among us. 

The Jews themselves, in their astrological considerations, 
concerning nativities and planetary hours, observe the same 
order upon as witty foundations. Because, by an equal inter- 
val, they make seven triangles, the bases whereof are the 
seven sides of a septilateral figure, described Avithin a circle- 
That is, if a figure of seven sides be described in a circle, and 
at the angles thereof the names of the planets be placed in 
their natural order on it ; if we begin with Saturn, and suc- 
cessively draw lines from angle to angle, until seven equicru- 
ral triangles be described, whose bases are the seven sides of 
the septilateral figure; the triangles will be made by this 
order.* The first being made by Saturn, Sol, and Luna, 
that is, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday ; and so the rest in 
the order still retained. 

But thus much is observable, that however in celestial 
considerations they embraced the received order of the 
planets, yet did they not retain either characters, or names in 
common use amongst us ; but declining human denomina- 
tions, they assigned them names from some remarkable quali- 
ties ; as is very observable in their red and splendent planets, 
that is, of Mars and Venus. But the change of their names f 

* Cujus icon apud Docl. Gaffarcl, cap. ii, et Fabrit. Pad. t Maadim. Nogah, 



[book V. 

disparaged not the consideration of their natures ; nor did 
they thereby reject all memory of these remarkable stars, 
which God himself admitted in his tabernacle, if conjecture 
will hold concerning the golden candlestick, whose shaft 
resembled the sun, and six branches the planets about it. 

9, We are unwilling to enlarge concerning many other ; 
only referring unto sober examination, what natural effects 
can reasonably be expected, when to prevent the ephialtes or 
night-mare, we hang up an hollow stone in our stables ; 
when for amulets against agues we use the chips of gallows 
and places of execution. 1 When for warts we rub our hands 
before the moon, 2 or commit any maculated part unto the 

1 execution.'] See what the Lord St. 
Alban's sayes for the certaintye of this 
experimente made upon himself, in his 
natural historye, centurye 10th, and 
997 experiment. — Wr. 

" The sympathy of individuals, that 
have been entire, or have touched, is of 
all others the most incredible ; yet accord- 
ing unto our faithful manner of exami- 
nation of nature, we will make some 
little mention of it. The taking away 
of warts, by rubbing them with somewhat 
that afterwards is put to waste and con- 
sume, is a common experiment ; and I 
do apprehend it the rather because of my 
own experience. I had from my child- 
hood a wart upon one of my fingers: 
afterwards, when I was about sixteen 
years old, being then at Paris, there grew 
upon both my hands a number of warts at 
the least an hundred, in a month's space. 
The English ambassador's lady, who was 
a woman far from superstition, told me 
one day, she would help me away with 
my warts : whereupon she got a piece of 
lard with the skin on, and rubbed the 
warts all over with the fat side ; and 
amongst the rest, that wart which I had 
had from my childhood : then she nailed 
the piece of lard, with the fat towards the 
sun, upon a post of her chamber window, 
which was to the south. The success 
was, that within five weeks space all 
the warts went quite away : and that 
wart which I had so long endured, for 
company. But at the rest I did little 
marvel, because they came in a short 
time, and might go away in a short 
time again : but the going away of that 
which had stayed so long doth yet stick 
with me. They say the like is done by the 

rubbing of warts with a green elder stick 
and then burying the stick to rot in muck. 
It would be tried with corns and wens, 
and such other excrescences. I would 
have it also tried with some parts of living 
creatures that are nearest the nature of 
excrescences ; as the combs of cocks, the 
spurs of cocks, the horns of beasts, etc. 
And I would have it tried both ways; 
both by rubbing those parts with lard, 
or elder, as before ; and by cutting off 
some piece of those parts, and laying it 
to consume: to see whether it will work 
any effect towards the consumption of 
that part which was once joined with it." 
— Natural History, Cent, x, No. 997. 

2 When for warts we rub our hands, iSj-c] 
Hear what Sir Kenelme Digby says of 
this matter in his Late Discourse, fyc. 
Touching the Cure of wounds by the Pow- 
der of Sympathy, &c. 12mo. 165S. 

"I cannot omit to add hereunto ano- 
ther experiment, which is, that we find 
by the effects, how the rays of the moon 
are cold and moist. It is without contro- 
versy, that the luminous parts of those 
rays come from the sun, the moon having 
no light at all within her, as her eclipses 
bear witness, which happen when the 
earth is opposite betwixt her and the sun ; 
which interposition suffers her not to have 
light from his rays. The beams then 
which come from the moon, are those of 
the sun, which glancing upon her, reflect 
upon us, and so bring with them the 
atoms of that cold and humid star, which 
participates of the source whence they 
come : therefore if one should expose a 
hollow bason, or glass, to assemble them, 
one shall find, that whereas those of the 
sun do burn by such a conjuncture, these 

chap, xxiv.l 



touch of the dead. AVhat truth there is in those common 
female doctrines, that the first rib of roast beef powdered, is 
a peculiar remedy against fluxes ; — that to urine upon earth 
newly cast up by a mole, bringeth down the menses in women • 
— that if a child dieth, and the neck becometh not stiff, but for 
many hours remaineth lithe and flaccid, some other in the 
same house will die not long after ; — that if a woman with 
child looketh upon a dead body, her child will be of a pale 
complexion ; 3 — our learned and critical philosophers might 
illustrate, whose exacter performances our adventures do but 
solicit : meanwhile, I hope they will plausibly receive our 
attempts, or candidly correct our misconjectures. 4 

Disce, sed ira cadat naso, rugosaque sanna, 
Dum veteres avias tibi de pulmone vevello. 

clean contrary do refresh and moisten in 
a notable manner, leaving an aquatic and 
viscous glutining kind of sweat upon the 
glass. One would think it were a folly 
that one should offer to wash his hands 
in a well-polished silver bason, wherein 
there is not a drop of water, yet this may 
be done by the reflection of the moon- 
beams only, which will afford a compe 
tent humidity to do it; but they who 
have tried this, have found their hands, 
after they are wiped, to be much moister 
than usually : but this is an infallible way 
to take away warts from, the hands, if it 
be often used." 

3 What truth there is, 8 ) -c.'\ This sen- 
tence was first added, and the arrange- 
ment of the paragraphs in the chapter 
altered, in the 6th edit. 

4 misconjectures.'] The perusal of the 
two preceding chapters, calls powerfully 
to mind the following lively and eloquent 
"character of the superstitions," drawn 
by our author's pious and learned friend, 
Bishop Hall. 

" Superstition is godless religion, de- 
vout impiety. The superstitious is fond 
in observation, servile in fear : he wor- 
ships God, but as he lists : he gives God 
what he asks not, more than he asks, 
and all but what he should give ; and 
makes more sins than the ten command- 
ments. This man dares not stir forth, 
till his breast be crossed, and his face 
sprinkled. If but a hare cross him the 
way, he returns ; or, if his journey 
began, unawares, on the dismal day, or 
if he stumbled at the threshold. If he 

see a snake unkilled, he fears a mis- 
chief: if the salt fall towards him, he 
looks pale and red ; and is not quiet, till 
one of the waiters have poured wine on 
his lap: and when he sneezeth, thinks 
them not his friends that uncover not. In 
the morning he listens whether the crow 
crieth even or odd; and, by that token, 
presages of the weather. If he hear but 
a raven croak from the next roof, he 
makes his will ; or if a bittour fly over 
his head by night : but if his troubled 
fancy shall second his thoughts with the 
dream of a fair garden, or green rushes, 
or the salutation of a dead friend, he 
takes leave of the world, and says he 
cannot live. He will never set to sea 
but on a Sunday ; neither ever goes with- 
out an erra pater in his pocket. St. 
Paul's day, and St. Swithin's, with the 
twelve, are his oracles ; which he dares 
believe against the almanack. When he 
lies sick on his death-bed, no sin trou- 
bles him so much, as that he did once 
eat flesh on a Friday : no repentance can 
expiate that; the rest need none. There 
is no dream of his, without an interpre- 
tation, without a prediction ; and, if the 
event answer not his exposition, he ex- 
pounds it according to the event. Every 
dark grove and pictured wall strikes him 
with an awful, but carnal devotion. Old 
wives and stars are his counsellors : his 
night-spell is his guard, and charms, his 
physicians. He wears Paracelsian cha- 
racters for the tooth-ache: and a little 
hallowed wax is his antidote for all evils. 
This man is strangelv credulous ; and 



calls impossible things, miraculous: if he 
hear that some sacred block speaks, 
moves, weeps, smiles, his bare feet carry 
him thither with an offering ; and, if a 
danger miss him in the way, his saint 
hath the thanks. Some ways he will not 
go, and some he dares not ; either there 
are bugs, or he feigneth them: every 
lantern is a ghost, and every noise is of 
chains. He knows not why, but his 
custom is to go a little about, and to 
leave the cross still on the right hand. 

One event is enough to make a rule : 
out of these rules he concludes fashions 
proper to himself; and nothing can turn 
him out of his own course. If he have 
done his task, he is safe: it matters not 
with what affection. Finally, if God 
would let him be the carver of his own 
obedience, he could not have a better 
subject : as he is, he cannot have a worse.' ' 
1 — Bishop Hall's Characters of Vices ; 
Works by Pratt, vol. vii, 102. 





Concerning the beginning of the World, that the time thereof 
is not precisely known, as commonly it is presumed. 

Concerning the world and its temporal circumscriptions, 
whoever shall strictly examine both extremes, will easily per- 
ceive, there is not only obscurity in its end, but its beginning ; 
that as its period is inscrutable, so is its nativity indetermina- 
ble ; that as it is presumption to enquire after the one, so is 
there no rest or satisfactory decision in the other. And here- 
unto we shall more readily assent, if we examine the informa- 
tion, and take a view of the several difficulties in this point ; 
which we shall more easily do, if we consider the different 
conceits of men, and duly perpend the imperfections of their 

And first, the histories of the Gentiles afford us slender 
satisfaction, nor can they relate any story, or affix a probable 
point to its beginning, 1 For some thereof (and those of the 
wisest amongst them) are so far from determining its begin- 
ning, that they opinion and maintain it never had any at all ; 
as the doctrine of Epicurus implieth, and more positively 

3 Us beginning.] The beginning of the world. 


Aristotle, in his books De Coelo, declareth. Endeavouring 
to confirm it with arguments of reason, and those appearingly 
demonstrative ; wherein his labours are rational, and uncon- 
trolable upon the grounds assumed, that is, of physical gene- 
ration, and a primary or first matter, beyond which no other 
hand was apprehended. But herein we remain sufficiently 
satisfied from Moses, and the doctrine delivered of the crea- 
tion ; that is, a production of all things out of nothing, a 
formation not only of matter, but of form, and a materiation 
even of matter itself. 

Others are so far from defining the original of the world 
or of mankind, that they have held opinions not only repug- 
nant unto chronology, but philosophy ; that is, that they had. 
their beginning in the soil where they inhabited ; assuming or 
receiving appellations conformable unto such conceits. So 
did the Athenians term themselves avr6jfiovss or Aborigines, 
and in testimony thereof did wear a golden insect on their 
heads : the same name is also given unto the Inlanders, or 
Midland inhabitants of this island, by Caesar. But this a con- 
ceit answerable unto the generation of the giants ; not ad- 
mittable in philosophy, much less in divinity, which distinctly 
informeth we are all the seed of Adam, that the whole world 
perished, unto eight persons before the flood, and was after 
peopled by the colonies of the sons of Noah. There was 
therefore never any autochthon"' or man arising from the 
earth, bat Adam ; for the woman being formed out of the 
rib, was once removed from earth, and framed from that 
element under incarnation. And so although her production 
were not by copulation, yet was it in a manner seminal : for 
if in every part from whence the seed doth flow, there be 
contained the idea of the whole ; there was a seminality and 
contracted Adam in the rib, which, by the information of a 
soul, was individuated unto Eve. And therefore this conceit 
applied unto the original of man, and the beginning of the 
world, is more justly appropriable unto its end ; for then in- 

- autochthon,'] Autochthon, [rising by God. The second Adam might bee 

himselfe from the earthe] which was not trulyer called Autochthon, in a mystical 

to bee granted of the first ; who did not sense, not only in respect of his birthe, 

spring [as plants now doe] of himselfe. but of his resurrection alsoc. — Wr. 
For Adam was created out of the dust 


deed men shall rise out of the earth : the graves shall shoot ' 
up their concealed seeds, and in that great autumn, men shall 
spring up, and awake from their chaos again. 

Others have been so blind in deducing the original of 
things, or delivering their own beginnings, that when it hath 
fallen into controversy, they have not recurred unto chrono- 
logy or the records of time ; but betaken themselves unto 
probabilities, and the conjecturalities of philosophy.* Thus 
when the two ancient nations, Egyptians and Scythians, con- 
tended for antiquity, the Egyptians pleaded their antiquity 
from the fertility of their soil, inferri-ng that men there first 
inhabited, where they were with most facility sustained ; and 
such a land did they conceive was Egypt. 

The Scythians, although a cold and heavier nation, urged 
more acutely, deducing their arguments from the two active 
elements and principles of all things, fire and water. For if 
of all things there was first an union, and that fire over-ruled 
the rest, surely that part of earth which was coldest would 
first get free, and afford a place of habitation : but if all the 
earth were first involved in water, those parts would surely 
first appear, which were most high, and of most elevated 
situation, and such was theirs. These reasons carried indeed 
the antiquity from the Egyptians, but confirmed it not in the 
Scythians : for, as Herodotus relateth, from Pargitaus their 
first king unto Darius, they accounted but two thousand 

As for the Egyptians, they invented another way of trial ; 
for as the same author relateth, Psammitichus their king 
attempted this decision by a new and unknown experiment ; 
bringing up two infants with goats, and where they never 
heard the voice of man ; concluding that to be the ancientest 
nation, whose language they should first deliver. 3 But 
herein he forgot, that speech was by instruction not instinct, 
by imitation, not by nature ; that men do speak in some kind 

* Diodor. Justin. 

3 As for the Egyptians, 8fc.~\ " It is the Phrygian language signifyeth 'bread,' 
said that after they were two years old, whence it was conjectured that the Phry- 
one of the boys cried becchus, which in gians were the first people." — Jeff. 


but like parrots, and as they are instructed, that is, in simple 
terms and words, expressing the open notions of things ; 
which the second act of reason compoundeth into proposi- 
tions, and the last into syllogisms and forms of ratiocination. 
And howsoever the account of Manethon the Egyptian 
priest run very high, and it be evident that Mizraim peopled 
that country, (whose name with the Hebrews it beareth unto 
this day,) and there be many things of great antiquity related 
in Holy Scripture, yet was their exact account not very 
ancient ; for Ptolemy their countryman beginneth his astro- 
nomical compute no higher than Nabonasser, who is con- 
ceived by some the same with Salmanasser. i\.s for the 
argument deduced from the fertility of the soil, duly enquired 
it rather overthroweth than promoteth their antiquity ; if that 
country whose fertility they so advance, was in ancient times 
no firm or open land, but some vast lake or part of the sea, 
and became a gained ground by the mud and limous matter 
brought down by the river Nilus, which settled by degrees 
into a firm land, — according as is expressed by Strabo, and 
more at large by Herodotus, both from the Egyptian tradi- 
tion and probable inducements from reason ; called therefore 
fluvii donum, an accession of earth, or tract of land acquired 
by the river. 

Lastly, some indeed there are, who have kept records of 
time, and a considerable duration, yet do the exactest thereof 
afford no satisfaction concerning the beginning of the world, 
or any way point out the time of its creation. The most au- 
thentick records and best approved antiquity are those of the 
Chaldeans ; yet in the time of Alexander the Great they at- 
tained not so high as the flood. For as Simplicius relateth, 
Aristotle required of Calisthenes, who accompanied that 
worthy in his expedition, that at his arrival at Babylon, he 
would enquire of the antiquity of their records ; and those 
upon compute he found to amount unto 1903 years, which 
account notwithstanding ariseth no higher than ninety-five 
years after the flood. The Arcadians, I confess, were es- 
teemed of great antiquity, and it was usually said they were 
before the moon; according unto that of Seneca; sidus 
post veteres Arcades editum, and that of Ovid, luna gens 


prior ilia fait. But this, as Censorinus observeth, must not 
be taken grossly, as though they were existent before that 
luminary ; but were so esteemed, because they observed a set 
course of year, before the Greeks conformed their year unto 
the course and motion of the moon. 

Thus the heathens affording no satisfaction herein, they 
are most likely to manifest this truth, who have been ac- 
quainted with Holy Scripture, and the sacred chronology 
delivered by Moses, who distinctly sets down this account, 
computing by certain intervals, by memorable asras, epochs 
or terms of time : as, from the creation unto the flood, from 
hence unto Abraham, from Abraham unto the departure 
from Egypt, &c Now in this number have only been Sama- 
ritans, Jews, and Christians. 

For the Jews ; they agree not in their accounts, as Bodine 
in his method of history hath observed, out of Baal Seder, 
Rabbi Nassom, Gersom, and others ; in whose compute the 
age of the world is not yet 5400 years. The same is more 
evidently observable from two most learned Jews, Philo and 
Josephus ; who very much differ in the accounts of time, and 
variously sum up these intervals assented unto by all. Thus 
Philo, from the departure out of Egypt unto the building of the 
temple, accounts but 920 years ; but Josephus sets down 
1062 : Philo, from the building of the temple, to its de- 
struction, 44*0 ; Josephus, 470 : Philo, from the creation to 
the destruction of the temple, 3373; but Josephus, 8513: 
Philo, from the deluge to the destruction of the temple, 
1718: but Josephus, 1913. In which computes there are 
manifest disparities, and such as much divide the concordance 
and harmony of times. 

For the Samaritans ; their account is different from these 
or any others ; for they account from the creation to the 
deluge but 1302 years; which cometh to pass upon the 
different account of the ages of the Patriarchs set down 
when they begat children. For whereas the Hebrew, Greek, 
and Latin texts account Jared 162 when he begat Enoch, 
they account but sixty-two ; and so in others. Now the 
Samaritans were no incompetent judges of times and the 
chronology thereof; for they embrace the five books of 


Moses, and as it seemeth, preserve the text with far more 
integrity than the Jews : who as Tertullian, Chrysostom, and 
others oberve, did several ways corrupt the same, especially 
in passages concerning the prophecies of Christ. So that, 
as Jerome professeth, in his translation he was fain sometime 
to relieve himself by the Samaritan Pentateuch ; as amongst 
others in that text, Deuteronomy xxvii, 26 ; Maledictus om- 
nis qui non permanserit in omnibus quce scripta simt in libra 
legis. From hence Saint Paul, (Gal. iii, 10,) inferreth there is 
no justification by the law, and urgeth the text according to the 
Septuagint. Now the Jews, to afford a latitude unto them- 
selves, in their copies expunged the word ^3 or syncategore- 
matical term omnis : wherein lieth the strength of the law, 
and of the apostle's argument ; but the Samaritan Bible re- 
tained it right, and answerable unto what the apostle had 
urged. 4 

As for Christians, from whom we should expect the 
exactest and most concurring account, there is also in them 
a manifest disagreement, and such as is not easily reconciled. 
For first, the Latins accord not in their account ; to omit the 
calculation of the ancients, of Austin, Bede, and others, the 
chronology of the moderns doth manifestly dissent. Josephus 
Scaliger, whom Helvicus seems to follow, accounts the crea- 
tion in 765 of the Julian period ; and from thence unto the 
nativity of our Saviour alloweth 3947 years ; but Dionysius 
Petavius, a learned chronologer, dissenteth from this compute 
almost forty years ; placing the creation in the 730th of the 
Julian period, and from thence unto the incarnation account- 
ed! 3983 years. For the Greeks ; their accounts are more, 
anomalous : for if we recur unto ancient computes, we shall 
find that Clemens Alexandrinus, an ancient father and pre- 
ceptor unto Origen, accounted from the creation unto our 
Saviour, 5664 years ; for in the first of his Stromaticks, he 
collecteth the time from Adam unto the death of Commodus 
to be 5858 years ; now the death of Commodus he placeth 
in the year after Christ 194, which number deducted from 

4 the Samaritan, fyc."] It is also pre- copies of the Chaldee Targum, and in 
served in six MSS. in the collections of the LXX. — Jeff. 
Dr. Kennicolt, and De Rossi, in several 


the former, there remaineth 5664. Theophilus, bishop of 
Antioch, accounteth unto the nativity of Christ 5515, dedu- 
cible from the like way of compute ; for in his first book 
ad Autolyehum, he accounteth from Adam unto Aurelius 
Verus 5695 years ; now that Emperor died in the year of 
our Lord ISO, which deducted from the former sum, there 
remaineth 5515. Julius Africanus, an ancient chronologer ? 
accounteth somewhat less, that is, 5500. Eusebius, Orosius 
and others dissent not much from this, but all exceed five 

The latter compute of the Greeks, as Petavius observeth, 
hath been reduced unto two or three accounts. The first 
accounts unto our Saviour 5501, and this hath been observed 
by Nicephorus, Theophanes, and Maximus. The other ac- 
counts 5509 ; and this of all at present is generally received 
by the church of Constantinople, observed also by the Mus- 
covite, as I have seen in the date of the emperor's letters ; 
wherein this year of ours, 1645, is from the year of the 
world 7154, which doth exactly agree unto this last account 
5509: for if unto that sum be added 1645, the product will 
be 7154; by this chronology are many Greek authors to be 
understood : and thus is Martinus Crusius to be made out, 
when in his Turcogrecian history he delivers, the city of 
Constantinople was taken by the Turks in the year ^6^a that 
is, 6961. Now according unto these chronologists, the pro- 
phecy of Elias the rabbin, so much in request with the Jews, 
and in some credit also with Christians, that the world should 
last but six thousand years ; unto these I say, it hath been 
long and out of memory disproved ; for the sabbatical and 
7000th year wherein the world should end (as did the creation 
on the seventh day) unto them is long ago expired ; they are 
proceeding in the eight thousandth year, and numbers exceed- 
ing those days which men have made the types and shadows 
of these. But certainly what Marcus Leo the Jew conceiv- 
eth of the end of the heavens, exceedeth the account of all 
that ever shall be ; for though he conceiveth the elemental 
frame shall end in the seventh or sabbatical millenary, yet 
cannot he opinion the heavens and more durable part of the 
creation shall perish before seven times seven or forty-nine, 


that is, the quadrant of the other seven, and perfect jubilee 
of thousands. 5 

Thus may we observe the difference and wide dissent of 
men's opinions, and thereby the great incertainty in this es- 
tablishment. The Hebrews not only dissenting from the 
Samaritans, the Latins from the Greeks, but every one from 
another. Insomuch that all can be in the right it is impossible 
that any one is so, not with assurance determinable. And 
therefore, as Petavius confesseth, to effect the same exactly 
without inspiration, it is impossible, and beyond the arithme- 
tick of any but God himself. And therefore also, what sa- 
tisfaction may be obtained from those violent disputes, and 
eager enquiries, in what day of the month the world began, 
either of March or October ; likewise in what face or position 
of the moon, whether at the prime or full, or soon after, let 
our second and serious considerations determine. 

Now the reason and ground of this dissent is the unhappy 
difference between the Greek and Hebrew editions of the 
bible, for unto these two languages have all translations con- 
formed ; the Holy Scripture being first delivered in Hebrew, 
and first translated into Greek. For the Hebrew ; it seems 
the primitive and surest text to rely on, and to preserve the 
same entire and uncorrupt there hath been used the highest 
caution humanity could invent. For, as R. Ben Maimon 
hath declared, if in the copying thereof one letter were 
written twice, or if one letter but touched another, that copy 
was not admitted into their synagogues, but only allowable to 
be read in schools and private families. Neither were they 
careful only in the exact number of their sections of the law, 
but had also the curiosity to number every word, and affixed 
the account unto their several books. Notwithstanding all 

5 Marcus Leo the Jeiv.~] The text of the world into 3 partes. The begin- 

convinceth this dotage of the Jew : St. ning of the world must bee counted as 

Paule sayd 1500 years agoe, that the the first 2000 yeares : the midste 4000: 

ends of the world were then coming, and the end C00O or perhaps not soe 

which was spoken not of hundreds of much : for our Saviour sayes evidently 

yeares but of thousands. Yf then Christ there shall be an abbreviation, viz. in 

were borne in the 4000th yeare of the the last parte ; but when that shall bee 

world, as the late learned Armachanus D eus novit. — Jl'r. 

(Abp. Usher) opines, (not without excel- Our Lord's prediction is usually ap- 

lent and undeniable reasons easie to plied to the destruction of Jerusalem, 
bee made good) wee must divide the age 


which, clivers corruptions ensued, and several depravations 
slipt in, arising from many and manifest grounds, as hath been 
exactly noted by Morinus in his preface unto the Septuagint- 

As for the Septuagint, it is the first and most ancient trans- 
lation ; and of greater antiquity than the Chaldee version ; 
occasioned by the request of Ptolemeus Philadelphus king 
of Egypt, for the ornament of his memorable library, unto 
whom the high priest addressed six Jews out of every tribe, 
which amounteth unto 72 ; and by these was effected that 
translation we usually term the septuagint, or translation of 
seventy. Which name, however it obtain from the number 
of their persons, yet in respect of one common spirit, it was 
the translation but as it were of one man ; if, as the story 
relateth, although they were set apart and severed from each 
other, yet were their translations found to agree in every 
point, according as is related by Philo and Josephus ; although 
we find not the same in Aristaeas,* who hath expressly 
treated thereof. But of the Greek compute there have 
passed some learned dissertations not many years ago, where- 
in the learned Isaac Vossius 6 makes the nativity of the world 
to anticipate the common account one thousand four hundred 
and forty years. 

This translation in ancient times was of great authority. 
By this many of the heathens received some notions of the 
creation and the mighty works of God. This in express 
terms is often followed by the evangelists, by the apostles, 
and by our Saviour himself in the quotations of the Old 
Testament. This for many years was used by the Jews 
themselves, that is, such as did Hellenize and dispersedly 
dwelt out of Palestine with the Greeks ; and this also the 
succeeding Christians and ancient fathers observed ; although 
there succeeded other Greek versions, that is, of Aquila, 
Theodosius, and Symmachus. For the Latin translation of 
Jerome called now the vulgar, was about 800 years after 
the Septuagint ; although there was also a Latin translation 

* Aristaas ad PhUociat.orem de 72 interpretibus. 

a Isaac Vossius] He contended for (he inspiration of the Septuagint. — Jeff. 


before, called the Italic version, which was after lost upon the 
general reception of the translation of Jerom. Which 
notwithstanding, (as he himself acknowledgeth *) had been 
needless, if the Septuagint copies had remained pure, and as 
they were first translated. But (beside that different copies 
were used, that Alexandria and Egypt followed the copy of 
Hesychius, Antioch and Constantinople that of Lucian the 
martyr, and others that of Origen,) the Septuagint was much 
depraved, not only from the errors of scribes, and the emer- 
gent corruptions of time, but malicious contrivance of the 
Jews; as Justin Martyr hath declared, in his learned dialogue 
with Tryphon, and Morinusf hath learnedly shewn from 
many confirmations. 7 

Whatsoever interpretations there have been since have 
been especially effected with reference unto these, that is, the 
Greek and Hebrew text ; the translators sometimes following 
the one, sometimes adhering unto the other, according as 
they found them consonant unto truth, or most correspondent 
unto the rules of faith. Now, however it cometh to pass, 
these two are very different in the enumeration of genealo- 
gies, and particular accounts of time : for in the second 
interval, that is, between the flood and Abraham, there is by 
the Septuagint introduced one Cainan 8 to be the son of Ar- 
phaxad and father of Salah ; whereas in the Hebrew there 
is no mention of such a person, but Arphaxad is set down to 
be the father of Salah. But in the first interval, that is, 
from the creation unto the flood, their disagreement is more 
considerable ; for therein the Greek exceedeth the Hebrew 
and common account almost 600 years. And 't is indeed a 
thing not very strange, to be at the difference of a third 
part, in so large and collective an account, if we consider how 
differently they are set forth in minor and less mistakable 

* Prrefat. in Paralipom. f De Heirtsi et Grteei textus sinceritate. 

7 Which ivas after lost, 8fc.~\ This calls KctlVUV deuTigoc ; Hee [meaning 

concluding sentence was first added in Sir Thomas,] might have called him 

the 2nd edit. Ysvdoxcuvav ; which had been most 

Cainan,! How this second Cainan sutable to this learned worke> of dis . 

was foisted into the translation of the 

covering comon errors. — U'r. 

Septuagint, see that learned tract in See a , so Dr Jfales , s New Analysh . 
Grcgoryes Posthvma, p. ti, which hee v0 ] ] pp# 90 94, 


numbers. So in the prophecy of Jonah, both in the 
Hebrew and Latin text, it is said, " Yet forty days and 
Nineveh shall be overthrown;" but the Septuagint saith 
plainly, and that in letters at length, r^?g j^uigag, that is, "yet 
three days and Nineveh shall be destroyed." Which is a 
difference not newly crept in, but an observation very ancient, 
discussed by Austin and Theodoret, and was conceived an 
error committed by the scribe. 9 Men therefore have raised 
different computes of time, according as they have followed 
their different texts ; and so have left the history of times far 
more perplexed than chronology hath reduced. 

Again, however the texts were plain, and might in their 
numerations agree, yet were there no small difficulty to set 
down a determinable chronology or establish from hence any 
fixed point of time. For the doubts concerning the time of 
the judges are inexplicable ; that of the reigns and succes- 
sion of kings is as perplexed ; it being uncertain whether 
the years both of their lives and reigns ought to be taken as 
complete, or in their beginning and but current accounts. 
Nor is it unreasonable to make some doubt whether in the 
first ages and long lives of our fathers, Moses doth not 
sometime account by full and round numbers, whereas 
strictly taken they might be some few years above or under ; 
as in the age of Noah, it is delivered to be just five hundred 
when he begat Sem ; whereas perhaps he might be somewhat 
above or below that round and complete number. For the 
same way of speech is usual in divers other expressions : 
thus do we say the Septuagint, and using the full and ar- 
ticulate number, do write the translation of seventy ; whereas 
we have shewn before the precise number was seventy-two. 
So is it said that Christ was three days in the grave ; accord- 
ing to that of Matthew, " As Jonas was three days and three 
nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of man be three 
days and three nights in the heart of the earth :" which not- 
withstanding must be taken synecdochically, or by under- 
standing a part for a whole day ; for he remained but two 

9 Scribe.'] Writing y for fh, which in the second transcript. — Wr 
might easily bee, not in the original, but 

O 2 




nights in the grave : for he was buried in the afternoon of 
the first day, and arose very early in the morning on the 
third ; that is, he was interred in the eve of the sabbath, and 

arose the morning after it. 1 

1 after it.~\ Before day : the whole 
being scarce 34 houres while he was in 
the grave, which is not the one halfe of 
three days and three nights, nor can be 
salved synechdochicallye. 

' Tis strange to see how all the nation 
of expositors, since Christe, as yf they 
were infected with a disease of supinity, 
thinke they have abundantly satisfied 
the texte, by telling us, that speech of 
Christe comparinge himself to Jonas, 
must be understood synechdochically, 
which is : 1. not only a weak interpreta- 
tion ; 2. but ridiculous to Jews, Turks, 
and Infidels ; 3. and consequently dero- 
gatory to the trueth ; who expressly 
puts in the reddition, 3 dayes and 3 
nights, by an emphaticall expression. 
Which as itt was punctually fortold, the 
express time of 3 dayes and 3 nights ; 
soe itt was as punctually performed (us- 
que ad apices) for as Jonas was 3 days 
and 3 nights in the whale, which admits 
noe synechdoche ; soe the sonn of man 
was in the grave 3 dayes and 3 nights 
without any abatement of a moment. 
That which begat this error was, a mis- 
take of the dayes and nights, spoken of 
Jonas. And from thence not only un- 
warrantably but untruly applyed to 
Christ's stay in the grave. Wee must 
therefore distinguish of dayes and nights, 
and take them either in Moses' sense, 
for the whole revolution of the Q to the 
eastern pointe after 24 houres : which 
most men by like contagion of error, 
call the natural day, wheras itt is rather 
to bee cald artificiall, as being compound- 
ed of a day and a night, wheras the 
night is properly noe parte univocall of 
a day, but acontradistinct member there- 
to. Now in this sense yf the days and 
nights bee conceived ; itt is impossible to 
make good the one halfe of 3 dayes and 
3 nights by any figurative or synechdo- 
chical sense : for from the time of his en- 
terring, very neer C at even on Friday to 
6 at even on Saturday are but 24 houres: 
to which adde from C at even to 3 or 4 
next morne (for itt was yet darke, when 
Mary Magd. came and saw the stone 
remooved) viz. 10 houres more, they 
will make in all but thirty foure houres, 

that is but 1 i? day and night of sequi- 
noctial revolution. Or else in our Saviour's 
sense, Jo. xi. 9, where by the day 
Christe understands, the very day-light, 
or natural day, caused by the presence 
of the sun ; to the which night is always 
opposed as contradistinct, as is manifest 
from that very place. For as itts alwayes 
midday directly under the 0, soe there 
is midnight alwayes opposite to mid- 
noone through the world. And these 2 
have runn opposite round the world, 
simul et semel every 24 houres since the 
creation, and soe shall doe, while time 
shall bee noe more. I say therefore that 
thoughe in respect of Jesus' grave in the 
garden he lay but 36 houres in the earthe 
yet in respect of the world for which he 
suffered, there were 3 distincte dayes and 
nights actually in being, while hee lay 
in the bowels of the earthe : (which is 
to be distinctly noted to justifie of him, 
who did not, could not, Eequivocate. 
Friday night in Judaea, and a day op- 
posite therto in the other hemisphere, 
just 12 houres; Saturday 12 houres in 
Judaea, and the opposite night 12 hours ; 
Saturday night in Judaea, and the opposite 
day elsewhere at the same time. And 
hee that denyes this, hath lost his sense : 
for I ask were there not actually 3 essen- 
tiall dayes and 3 nights (subcoelo) during 
his sepulture. And yf this cannot be 
denyed by any but a madman, I aske 
againe did Christe suffer for Judaea only, 
or for the whole world ? least of all for 
Judaea, which for his unjust death was 
exterminate and continues accursed. Soe 
that henceforth wee shall need no sy- 
nechdoche to make good the prophetick 
speech of him that could not lie : who 
sayde, sic erit Films hominis in corde 
terra; tribus diebus et iribus noctibus : 
and this was truly fulfilled usque ad mo- 
mcnta, and therefore I dare believe it, 
and noe Jew or Turk can contradict itt. 
(Hee that made the several natures of 
day and night in this sense : sayd hee 
would lye in the grave 3 of these dayes 
and 3 nights.) — Wr. 

This is ingenious, and to its author it 
seems abundantly satisfactory, proceed- 

CHAP. I.] 



Moreover, although the number of years be determined 
and rightly understood, and there be without doubt a certain 
truth herein, yet the text speaking obscurely or dubiously, 
there is oft-times no slender difficulty at what point to begin 
or terminate the account. So when it is said, Exod. xii, the 
sojourning of the children of Israel who dwelt in Egypt was 
430 years, it cannot be taken strictly, and from their first 
arrival into Egypt, for their habitation in that land was far 
less ; but the account must begin from the covenant of God 
with Abraham, and must also comprehend their sojourn in 
the land of Canaan, according as is expressed Gal. iii, " The 
covenant that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the 
law which was 430 years after cannot disannul." Thus hath 
it also happened in the account of the seventy years of their 
captivity, according to that of Jeremy, " This whole land 
shall be a desolation, and these nations shall serve the king 
of Babylon seventy years."* Now where to begin or end 
this compute, arise th no small difficulty; for there were three 
remarkable captivities, and deportations of the Jews. The 

* Chap. xx. 

ing on the hypothesis that as our Lord 
suffered for the whole world, the duration 
of his suffering must be understood with 
reference to the whole earth. The Dean 
adds to the two nights and one day which 
elapsed in Palestine, — the corresponding 
two days and one night, which elapsed at 
the antipodes of Judea. But this is 
liable to objection. It is just as truly 
synechdochical as the interpretation of Sir 
Thomas : — only that it takes two points 
on the earth's surface instead of one for 
the whole. Besides the ingenuity is need- 
less. The Jews were in the habit of 
speaking syneclidocliically in that very 
respect that they speak of each part of 
a day and night (or of 24 hours) as a 
day and night — VwOrtfteoa, So that if 
Jonah was in the deep during less than 
48 hours, provided that period comprised, 
in addition to one entire 24 hours, a 
portion of the preceding and of the fol- 
lowing 24 hours, — then the Jews would 
say that he had been in the deep 3 day- 
nights or 3 days and 3 nights. As if we 
should say of a person who had left 
home on Friday afternoon and returned 
on Sunday morning, that he was from 

home Friday, Saturday, and Sunday — 
this might be thought to imply consider- 
able portions of the day of Friday and of 
Sunday — but certainly it would not be 
necessary to the accuracy of such a report 
that he should have started immediately 
after midnight of Thursday, and return- 
ed at the same hour on Sunday. And 
yet he would otherwise not have been 
from home on Friday, Saturday, and 
Sunday — but only during parts of those 
days. With the Jews common parlance 
would only require that our Redeemer 
should have been in the heart of the 
earth, from the eve of the (Jewish) sab- 
bath, however late, to the morning of 
the first day, however early, in order to 
justify the terms in which they would 
universally have spoken of the duration 
of his abode there — as comprising three 
days and three nights. We may observe 
too, that three days are uniformly spoken 
of as the time of our Lord's abode in the 
grave, whether it is spoken of typically 
or literally. Thus he says of himself, 
" I do cures to day and to morrow, and 
the third day I am perfected." 


first was in the third or fourth year of Joachim, and first of 
Nabuchodonozor, when Daniel was carried away; the second 
in the reign of Jeconiah, and the eighth year of the same 
king ; the third and most deplorable in the reign of Zede- 
chias, and in the nineteenth year of Nabuchodonozor, where- 
at both the temple and city were burned. Now such is the 
different conceit of these times, that men have computed from 
all; but the probablest account and most concordant unto 
the intention of Jeremy is from the first of Nabuchodonozor 
unto the first of king Cyrus over Babylon ; although the 
prophet Zachary accounteth from the last. " O Lord of 
hosts, how long ! wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, 
against which thou hast had indignation these threescore 
and ten years ? "* for he maketh this expostulation in the 
second year of Darius Hystaspes, wherein he prophesied, 
which is about eighteen years in account after the other. 

Thus also although there be a certain truth therein, yet is 
there no easy doubt concerning the seventy weeks, or seventy 
times seven years of Daniel; whether they have reference, 
unto the nativity or passion 2 of our Saviour, and especially 
from whence, or what point of time they are to be computed. 

* Chap, i, 12. 

2 nativity or passion."] The learned et Epochis, cap. xi, which was publisht 

thinke they have reference [that is of this last year 1649, and is a work wor- 

their determination] to neither of them, thye of a diligent reader Wr. 

For most of the learned conceive, that On referring to Rev. T. H. Home's 
those 70 weeks, or seven times seventy analytical view of Daniel, I find the fol- 
[viz. 490 years] ended with the destruc- lowing brief summary of this period, 
tion of the citye ; which was 70 yeares Its commencement "is fixed (Dan. ix, 
after the nativitye, and 38 after the pas- 25,) to the time when the order was is- 
sion of Christe : and then 'twill bee noe sued for rebuilding the temple in the 
hard matter to compute the pointe from seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes. 
whence those 490 yeares must bee sup- (Ezra vii, 11,) seven weeks, or forty- 
posed to begin : which wee shal find to nine years, was the temple in building 
bee in the 6th yeare of Darius Nothus ; (Dan. ix, 25); sixty-two weeks, or four 
at what time the temple being finished hundred and thirty-four years more, 
by Artaxerxes commaund, formerly given bring us to the public manifestation of 
Ao. Regni 20°. the commaund for the the Messiah, at the beginning of John 
building of Jerusalem also was given by the Baptist's preaching ; and one pro- 
this Darius Nothus, A . Mundi, 3532, phetic week or seven years, added to 
which agrees cxactlye with Scaligcr's this, will bring us to the time of our 
irrefragable computation. But to see Saviour's passion, or the thirty-third 
this difficult question fully decided, and year of the Christian aera, — in all 490 
in a few lines, I can give no such dircc- years." — Introduction, $$c. vol. iv, p. 1 , 
tion, as that which Gregorye hath latch ch. VI, § 4. 
"iven us in his excellent tract dc /Eris 


For thus it is delivered by the Angel Gabriel, " Seventy 
weeks are determined upon thy people ;" and again in the 
following verse; "Know therefore and understand, that from 
the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build 
Jerusalem,unto the Messiah the prince, shall be seven weeks, 
and threescore and two weeks, the street shall be built again, 
and the wall even in troublesome times ; and after threescore 
and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off." 3 Now the going out 
of the commandment, to build the city, being the point from 
whence to compute, there is no slender controversy when to 
begin. For there are no less than four several edicts to this 
effect, the one in the first year of Cyrus, 4 the other in the 
second of Darius, the third and fourth in the seventh, and 
in the twentieth of Artaxerxes Longimanus ; although as 
Petavius accounteth, it best accordeth unto the twentieth 
year of Artaxerxes, from whence Nehemiah deriveth his 
commission. Now that computes are made uncertainly with 
reference unto Christ, it is no wonder, since I perceive the 
time of his nativity is in controversy, and no less his age at 
his passion. For Clemens and Tertullian conceive he suffered 
at thirty ; but Irenaeus a father nearer his time, is further off 
in his account, that is, between forty and fifty. 

Longomontanus, a late astronomer, endeavours to discover 
this secret from astronomical grounds, that is, the apogeum 
of the sun ; conceiving the eccentricity invariable, and the 
apogeum yearly to move one scruple, two seconds, fifty 
thirds, &c. Wherefore if in the time of Hipparchus, that 
is, in the year of the Julian period, 4557, it was in the fifth 
degree of Gemini, and in the days of Tycho Brahe, that is? 
in the year of our Lord, 1588, or of the world 5554, the 
same was removed unto the fifth degree of Cancer ; by the 
proportion of its motion, it was at the creation first in the 
beginning of Aries, and the perigeum or nearest point in 
Libra. But this conceit how ingenious or subtile soever, is 
not of satisfaction ; it being not determinable, or yet agreed 

3 know, Sfc.~\ Dan. ix, 25. These dates however different from 

* the one in the first year, #c] A.M. those assigned by the most eminent of 
3119; 3430; 3192; 3505. — Wr. our more recent chronologists. 


in what time precisely the apogeum absolveth one degree, as 
Petavius* hath also delivered. 

Lastly, however these or other difficulties intervene, and 
that we cannot satisfy ourselves in the exact compute of 
time, yet may we sit down with the common and usual ac- 
count ; nor are these differences derogatory unto the advent 
or passion of Christ, unto which indeed they all do seem to 
point, for the prophecies concerning our Saviour were indefi- 
nitely delivered before that of Daniel ; so was that pronounced 
unto Eve in Paradise, that after of Balaam, those of Isaiah 
and the prophets, and that memorable one of Jacob, " the 
sceptre shall not depart from Israel until Shilo come;" which 
time notwithstanding it did not define at all. In what year 
therefore soever, either from the destruction of the temple, 
from the re-edifying thereof, from the flood, or from the 
creation, he appeared, certain it is, that in the fulness of time 
he came. When he therefore came, is not so considerable, 
as that he is come : in the one there is consolation, in the 
other no satisfaction. The greater query is, when he will 
come again ; and yet indeed it is no query at all ; for that is 
never to be known, and therefore vainly enquired : t' is a pro- 
fessed and authentick obscurity, unknown to all but to the 
omniscience of the Almighty. Certainly the ends of things 
are wrapt up in the hands of God, he that undertakes the 
knowledge thereof forgets his own beginning, and disclaims 
his principles of earth. No man knows the end of the 
world, nor assuredly of any thing in it : God sees it, because 
unto his eternity it is present; he knoweth the ends of us, 
but not of himself; and because he knows not this, he 
knoweth all things, and his knowledge is endless, even in the 
object of himself. 

* De Doctrina Temporum, 1. 4. 



Of Mens Enquiries in what season or point of the Zodiack 
it began, that, as they are generally made, they are in 
vain, and as particularly, uncertain. 

Concerning the seasons, that is, the quarters of the year, 
some are ready to enquire, others to determine, in what 
season, whether in the autumn, spring, winter, or summer, 
the world had its beginning. Wherein we affirm, that, as the 
question is generally and in respect of the whole earth 
proposed, it is with manifest injury unto reason in any par- 
ticular determined ; because whenever the world had its 
beginning it was created in all these four. For, as we have 
elsewhere delivered, whatsoever sign the sun possesseth 
(whose recess or vicinity define th the quarters of the year) 
those four seasons were actually existent ; it being the nature 
of that luminary to distinguish the several seasons of the 
year ; all which it maketh at one time in the whole earth, and 
successively in any part thereof. 4 Thus if we suppose the 
sun created in Libra, in which sign unto some it maketh au- 
tumn ; at the same time it had been winter unto the northern 
pole, for unto them at that time the sun beginneth to be 
invisible, and to shew itself again unto the pole of the south. 
Unto the position of a right sphere, or directly under the 
equator, it had been summer; for unto that situation the 
sun is at that time vertical. Unto the latitude of Capricorn, 
or the winter solstice, it had been spring ; for unto that 
position it had been in a middle point, and that of ascent, or 

4 thereof. .] According as he makes the tropicks, over whose heads he passes, 

his access too, or recess from the several have tbeir summer, and those on the 

[parts] of the earthe : now in that his ac- other side beyond the tropicke towards 

cesse to the one is a recess from the other, whome hee goes have their new spring 

it followes, that those from whom he beginning in exchange of their former, 

partes have their autumnc, those within causd by his absence. — Wr. 


approximation ; but unto the latitude of Cancer, or the sum- 
mer solstice, it had been autumn ; for then had it been placed 
in a middle point, and that of descent, or elongation. 

And if we shall take literally what Moses describeth po- 
pularly, this was also the constitution of the first day. For 
when it was evening unto one longitude, it was morning unto 
another ; when night unto one, day unto another. And there, 
fore that question, whether our Saviour shall come again in 
the twilight (as is conceived he arose) or whether he shall 
come upon us in the night, according to the comparison of a 
thief, or the Jewish tradition, that he will come about the 
time of their departure out of Egypt, when they eat the pas- 
sover, and the angel passed by the doors of their houses • 
this query I say needeth not further dispute. For if the 
earth be almost every where inhabited, and his coming (as 
divinity affirmeth) must needs be unto all ; then must the 
time of his appearance be both in the day and night. For 
if unto Jerusalem, or what part of the world soever he shall 
appear in the night, at the same time unto the antipodes it 
must be day ; if twilight unto them, broad day unto the 
Indians : if noon unto them, yet night unto the Americans ; 
and so with variety according unto various habitations, or 
different positions of the sphere, as will be easily conceived 
by those who understand the affections of different habita- 
tions, and the conditions of Antceci, Periceci, and Antipodes. 
And so, although he appear in the night, yet may the day of 
judgment or dooms-day well retain that name ;* for that im- 
plieth one revolution of the sun, which maketh the day and 
night, and that one natural day. And yet to speak strictly, 
if (as the apostle affirmeth) we shall be changed in the twink- 
ling of an eye, 5 and (as the schools determine) the destruction 

5 twinkling, fyc.~\ Taking this for under him round the world perpetuallye: 

granted [which noe man dare denye] soe in what parte of the world that 

yet it is most truly saydc, that doomes course shal bee determind [and the day 

day is the last daye, i. c. the last daye of therewith] is noe waye considerable, 

the sons circling this lower world by his and much Jesse in what parte of the 

daylye course : which as itt hath [in itt daye of 24 houres, that sodaine install I 

selfe] noe rising or scttinge, but caryeth of change shall bee ; which of necessity 

he daye and midnoone always directly must bee to some inhabitants of the 


of the world shall not be successive but in an instant, we can- 
not properly apply thereto the usual distinctions of time ; 
calling that twelve hours, which admits not the parts thereof, 
or use at all the name of time, when the nature thereof 
shall perish. 

But if the enquiry be made unto a particular place, and 
the question determined unto some certain meridian ; as 
namely, unto Mesopotamia 6 wherein the seat of Paradise is 
presumed, the query becomes more reasonable, and is indeed 
in nature also determinable. Yet positively to define that 
season, there is no slender difficulty ; for some contend that 
it began in the spring ; as, (beside Eusebius, Ambrose, Bede } 
and Theodoret,) some few years past, Henrico Philippi in his 
chronology of the Scripture. Others are altogether for au- 
tumn ; and from hence do our chronologers commence their 
compute; as may be observed in Helvicus, Jo. Scaliger, 
Calvisius, and Petavius. 7 

world at the time of his risinge, to others of the son. — Wr. 

at midnoone, to others at his sittinge, G Mesopotamia] Most thinke the val- 

and to others at midnight: for all these ley of Jehosaphat. — Wr. 
are all at once, and in the very same in- The valley of Jehoshaphat was situated 

stant, every day, in several partes of the east-ward of Jerusalem, between that 

worlde : as for example : in April when city of the Mount of Olives ; and through 

tis midday at London ; 't is just sonrise which ran the brook Kedron : — Mesopo- 

at Virginia ; and just sonset at the tamia was a province between the Eu- 

hithermost partes of Nova Guinea, and phrates and Tigris, 
yet itt is the same daye to all these 3 1 Petavius. J And yet itt must bee 

parcels of the world at once. But when confest, that the spring, or sonns entrance 

that greate doome shall come, the course into Aries is verum caput et naturalc 

of the son shall instantly cease, and con- Principium Anni, renewing and reviving 

sequently the natural and usual course all things, as of old in Paradise, a?qual- 

of day and night with itt : yet there ling dayes and nights in all places, 

shall bee noewant of lighte in that parte within the pole circles especially ; and as 

of the aire, or that parte of the earthe to this all astronomers agree, soe, conso- 

. under the place, where the sonn of man nant thereto, all geographers consent, 

shall call the world before his judgment that Paradise was neere under the JE- 

seate ; unless any man bee soe simple to quinoctiall, or on this side of itt, under 

thinke that in the presence of God there rise of the spring with the sonn. — Wr, 
shall be lesse light then in the presence 



Of the Divisions of the Seasons and Four Quarters of the 
Year, according unto Astronomers and Physcians; that 
the common compute of the Ancients, and which is still re- 
tained by some, is very questionable. 

As for the divisions of the year, and the quartering out this 
remarkable standard of time, there have passed especially 
two distinctions. The first in frequent use with astronomers 
according to the cardinal intersections of the zodiack, that 
is, the two gequinoctials and both the solstitial points, defining 
that time to be the spring of the year, wherein the sun doth 
pass from the equinox of Aries unto the solstice of Cancer; 
the time between the solstice and the equinox of Libra, 
summer ; from thence unto the solstice of Capricornus, 
autumn ; and from thence unto the equinox of Aries again, 
winter. Now this division, although it be regular and equal, 
is not universal ; for it includeth not those latitudes which 
have the seasons of the year double ; as have the inhabitants 
under the equator, or else between the tropicks. For 
unto them the sun is vertical twice a year, making two distinct 
summers in the different points of vertically. So unto those 
which live under the equator, when the sun is in the 
equinox, it is summer, in which points it maketh spring or 
autumn unto us ; and unto them it is also winter when the 
sun is in either tropick, whereas unto us it maketh always 
summer in the one. And the like will happen unto those 
habitations, which are between the tropicks and the 

A second and more sensible division there is observed by 
Hippocrates, and most of the ancient Greeks, according to 
the rising and setting of divers stars ; dividing the vcar, and 


establishing the account of seasons from usual alterations, 
and sensible mutations in the air, discovered upon the rising 
and setting of those stars : accounting the spring from the 
equinoctial point of Aries ; from the rising of the Pleiades, 
or the several stars on the back of Taurus, summer ; from 
the rising of Arcturus, a star between the thighs of Boetes, 
autumn ; and from the setting of the Pleiades, winter. Of 
these divisions, because they were unequal, they were fain to 
subdivide the two larger portions, that is, of the summer and 
winter quarters ; the first part of the summer they named 
S%>s, the second unto the rising of the dog-star, ^g«, from 
thence unto the setting of Arcturus hv&oa. The winter they 
divide also into three parts ; the first part, or that of seed- 
time, they named ccrogsrov, the middle or proper winter, x^m, 
the last, which was their planting or grafting time, tpvraXidv. 
This way of division was in former ages received, is very 
often mentioned in poets, translated from one nation to 
another ; from the Greeks unto the Latins, as is received by 
good authors ; and delivered by physicians, even unto our 

Now of these two, although the first in some latitude may 
be retained, yet is not the other in any way to be admitted. 
For in regard of time (as we elsewhere declare) the stars do 
vary their longitudes, and consequently the times of their 
ascension and descension. That star which is the term of 
numeration, or point from whence we commence the account, 
altering his site and longitude in process of time, and re- 
moving from west to east, almost one degree in the space of 
seventy-two years, so that the same star, since the age of 
Hippocrates who used this account, is removed in consequent 
tia about twenty-seven degrees. Which difference of their 
longitudes doth much diversify the times of their ascents, 
and rendereth the account unstable which shall proceed 

Again, in regard of different latitudes, this cannot be a 
settled rule, or reasonably applied unto many nations. For, 
whereas the setting of the Pleiades or seven stars is designed 
the term of autumn, and the beginning of winter, unto some 
latitudes these stars do never set, as unto all beyond 67 de- 


grees. And if in several and far distant latitudes we observe 
the same star as a common term of account unto both, we 
shall fall upon an unexpected, but an unsufferable absurdity ; 
and by the same account it will be summer unto us in the 
north, before it be so unto those, which unto us are south- 
ward, and many degrees approaching nearer the sun. For 
if we consult the doctrine of the sphere, and observe the 
ascension of the Pleiades, which maketh the be^innincp of 
summer, we shall discover that in the latitude of 40 these 
stars arise in the 16th degree of Taurus, but in the latitude 
of 50, they ascend in the eleventh degree of the same sign, 
that is, five days sooner ; so shall it be summer unto London, 
before it be unto Toledo, and begin to scorch in England, 
before it grow hot in Spain. 

This is therefore no general way of compute, nor reason- 
able to be derived from one nation unto another ; the defect 
of which consideration hath caused divers errors in Latin 
poets, translating these expressions from the Greeks ; and 
many difficulties even in the Greeks themselves, which, living 
in divers latitudes, yet observed the same compute. So that, 
to make them out, we are fain to use distinctions ; sometimes 
computing cosmically what they intended heliacally, and 
sometimes in the same expression accounting the rising helia- 
cally, the setting cosmically. Otherwise it will be hardly made 
out, what is delivered by approved authors ; and is an obser- 
vation very considerable unto those which meet with such 
expressions, as they are very frequent in the poets of elder 
times, especially Hesiod, Aratus, Virgil, Ovid, Manilius, and 
authors geoponical, or which have treated de re rustica, as 
Constantine, Marcus Cato, Columella, Palladius and Varro. 

Lastly, the absurdity in making common unto many nations 
those considerations whose verity is but particular unto some, 
will more evidently appear, if we examine the rules and pre- 
cepts of some one climate, and fall upon consideration with 
what incongruity they are transferable unto others. 

Thus is it advised by Hesiod : — 

Pleiadibus Altante natis orientibus 

Incipe Mcssem, Arationem vero occidentibus. — 


implying hereby the heliacal ascent and cosmical descent of 
those stars. Now herein he setteth down a rule to begin 
harvest at the arise of the Pleiades ; which in his time was 
in the beginning of May. This indeed was consonant unto 
the clime wherein he lived, and their harvest began about 
that season ; but is not appliable unto our own, for therein we 
are so far from expecting an harvest, that our barley seed is 
not ended. Again, correspondent unto the rule of Hesiod, 
Virgil affordeth another, — 

Ante tibi Eocc Atlantides abscondantur, 
Debita quam sulcis committas semina. — 

understanding hereby their cosmical descent, or their setting 
when the sun ariseth ; and not their heliacal obscuration, or 
their inclusion in the lustre of the sun, as Servius upon this 
place would have it ; for at that time these stars are many 
signs removed from that luminary. Now herein he strictly 
adviseth, not to begin to sow before the setting of these stars; 
which notwithstanding, without injury to agriculture cannot 
be observed in England ; for they set unto us about the 12th 
of November, when our seed-time is almost ended. 

And this diversity of clime and celestial observations, 
precisely observed unto certain stars and months, hath not 
only overthrown the deductions of one nation to another, but 
hath perturbed the observation of festivities and statary 
solemnities, even with the Jews themselves. For unto them 
it was commanded, that at their entrance into the land of 
Canaan, in the fourteenth of the first month, (that is Abib or 
Nisan, which is spring with us,) they should observe the 
celebration of the passover ; and on the morrow after, which 
is the fifteenth day, the feast of unleavened bread ; and in 
the sixteenth of the same month, that they should offer the 
first sheaf of the harvest. Now all this was feasible and of 
an easy possibility in the land of Canaan, or latitude of Jeru- 
salem ; for so it is observed by several authors in later times; 
and is also testified by Holy Scripture in times very far be- 
fore.® For when the children of Israel passed the river 

* Josh. Hi. 


Jordan, it is delivered by way of parenthesis, that the river 
overfloweth its banks in the time of harvest ; which is con- 
ceived the time wherein they passed ; and. it is after delivered, 
that in the fourteenth day they celebrated the passover:* 
which according to the law of Moses, was to be observed in 
the first month, or month of Abib. 

And therefore it is no wonder, what is related by Luke, 
that the disciples upon the deuteroproton, as they passed by, 
plucked the ears of corn. For the deuteroproton or second 
first sabbath, was the first sabbath after the deutera or 
second of the passover, which was the sixteenth of Nisan or 
Abib. And this is also evidenced from the received construc- 
tion of the first and latter rain : " I will give you the rain of 
your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter 
rain :"f for the first rain fell upon the seed-time about October, 
and was to make the seed to root ; the latter was to fill the 
ear, and fell in Abib or March, the first month ; according as 
is expressed, " And he will cause to come down for you the 
rain, the former rain and the latter rain in the first month,";}; 
that is, the month of Abib, wherein the passover was observ- 
ed. This was the law of Moses, and this in the land of 
Canaan was well observed, according to the first institution : 
but since their dispersion, and habitation in countries, whose 
constitutions admit not such tempestivity of harvests, (and 
many not before the latter end of summer,) notwithstanding 
the advantage of their lunary account, and intercalary month 
Veader, affixed unto the beginning of the year, there will be 
found a great disparity in their observations, nor can they 
strictly, and at the same season with their forefathers, observe 
the commands of God. 

To add yet further, those geoponical rules and precepts of 
agriculture, which are delivered by divers authors, are not to 
be generally received, but respectively understood unto climes 
whereto they are determined. For whereas one adviseth to 
sow this or that grain at one season, a second to set this or 
that at another, it must be conceived relatively, and every 
nation must have its country farm ; for herein we may observe 

* Josh. v. | Dcut, xi. { Joel ii. 




a manifest and visible difference, not only in the seasons of 
harvest, but in the grains themselves. For with us barley- 
harvest is made after wheat-harvest, but with the Israelites 
and Egyptians it was otherwise. So is it expressed by way 
of priority, Ruth ii ; " So Ruth kept fast by the maidens of 
Boaz, to glean unto the end of barley-harvest and of wheat- 
harvest;" which in the plague of hail in Egypt is more 
plainly delivered, Exod. ix ; "And the flax and the barley 
were smitten, for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was 
boiled, but the wheat and the rye were not smitten, for they 
were not grown up." 

And thus we see, the account established upon the arise or 
descent of the stars can be no reasonable rule unto distant 
nations at all ; and, by reason of their retrogression, but 
temporary unto any one. Nor must these respective expres- 
sions be entertained in absolute consideration ; for so distinct 
is the relation, and so artificial the habitude of this inferior 
globe unto the superior, and even of one thing in each unto 
the other, that general rules are dangerous, and applications 
most safe that run with security of circumstance, which 
rightly to effect, is beyond the subtilty of sense, and requires 
the artifice of reason. 8 

8 reason.^ Hence itt may appeare 
that those rules of prognostic and signi- 
fication, which the iEgyptian, Arabian, 
Graecian, yea and Italian astronomers, 
have given concerning the Starrs, and 
those clymates wherein they lived, can- 
not bee applied to our remote and colder 
clymes, nor to these later times (wherein 
die coastellations of all the 12 signes 

are moved eastward almost 30 degrees ; 
Aries into Taurus and that into Gemini, 
&c.) without manifest errors and grosse 
deceptions, and are therefore of late re- 
jected by the most famous astronomers, 
Tycho, Copernicus, Longomontanus and 
Kepler (as diabolical impostures) De 
Comet a Anni, 1618. — Wr, 



Of some computation of days, and deductions of one part 
of the year unto another. 

Fourthly, there are certain vulgar opinions concerning days 
of the year, and conclusions popularly deduced from certain 
days of the month ; men commonly believing the days in- 
crease and decrease equally in the whole year ; which not- 
withstanding is very repugnant unto truth. For they increase 
in the month of March, almost as much as in the two months 
of January and February : and decrease as much in Septem- 
ber, as they do in July and August. For the days increase 
or decrease according to the declination of the sun, that is, 
its deviation northward or southward from the equator. 
Now this digression is not equal, but near the equinoxial 
intersections, it is right and greater, near the solstices more 
oblique and lesser. So from the eleventh of March the 
vernal equinox, unto the eleventh of April, the sun decline th 
to the north twelve degrees ; from the eleventh of April, 
unto the eleventh of May, but eight, from thence unto the 
fifteenth of June, or the summer solstice, but three and a 
half: all which make twenty-two degrees and an half, the 
greatest declination of the sun. 

And this inequality in the declination of the sun in the 
zodiack or line of life, is correspondent unto the growth or 
declination of man. For setting out from infancy, we increase, 
not equally, or regularly attain to our state or perfection ; 
nor when we descend from our state, is our declination equal, 
or carrieth us with even paces unto the grave. For as Hip- 
pocrates affirmeth, a man is hottest in the first day of his 
life, and coldest in the last ; his natural heat setteth forth 
most vigorously at first, and declineth most sensibly at last. 
And so though the growth of man end not perhaps until 


twenty-one, yet is his stature more advanced in the first 
septenary than in the second, and in the second more than in 
the third, and more indeed in the first seven years, than in 
the fourteen succeeding ; for what stature we attain unto at 
seven years, we do sometimes but double, most times come 
short of at one and twenty. And so do we decline again : 
For in the latter age upon the tropick and first descension 
from our solstice, we are scarce sensible of declination : but 
declining further, our decrement accelerates, we set apace, 
and in our last days precipitate into our graves. And thus 
are also our progressions in the womb, that is, our formation, 
motion, our birth or exclusion. For our formation is quickly 
effected, our motion appeareth later, and our exclusion very 
long after : if that be true which Hippocrates and Avicenna 
have declared, that the time of our motion is double unto that 
of formation, and that of exclusion treble unto that of motion. 
As if the infant be formed at thirty-five days, it moveth at 
seventy, and is born the two hundred and tenth day, that is, 
the seventh month ; or if it receives not formation before 
forty-five days, it moveth the ninetieth day, and is excluded 
in the two hundred and seventieth, that is, the ninth month. 

There are also certain popular prognosticks drawn from 
festivals in the calendar, and conceived opinions of certain 
days in months ; so is there a general tradition in most parts 
of Europe, that inferreth the coldness of succeeding winter 
from the shining of the sun upon Candlemas day, or the 
purification of the Virgin Mary, according to the proverbial 

Si Sol splendescat Maria purificante, 

Major erit glacies post festum quam fuit ante. 

So is it usual among us to qualify and conditionate the twelve 
months of the year, answerable unto the temper of the twelve 
days in Christmas ; and to ascribe unto March certain bor- 
rowed days from April, all which men seem to believe upon 
annual experience of their own, and the received traditions 
of their forefathers. 

Now it is manifest, and most men likewise know, that the 
calendars of these computers, and the accounts of these days 



are very different : the Greeks dissenting from the Latins, 
and the Latins from each other : the one observing the 
Julian or ancient account, as Great Britain and part of Ger- 
many; the other adhering to the Gregorian or new account, 
as Italy, France, Spain, and the United Provinces of the 
Netherlands. Now this latter account, by ten clays at least, 
anticipateth the other ; so that before the one beginneth the 
account, the other is past it ; yet in the several calculations, 
the same events seem true, and men with equal opinion of 
verity, expect and confess a confirmation from them all. 
Whereby is evident the oraculous authority of tradition, and 
the easy seduction of men, 9 neither enquiring into the verity 
of the substance, nor reforming upon repugnance of cir- 

And thus may divers easily be mistaken who superstitiously 
observe certain times, or set down unto themselves an ob- 
servation of unfortunate months, or days, or hours. As did 
the Egyptians, two in every month, and the Romans the days 
after the nones, ides, and calends. And thus the rules of 
navigators must often fail, setting down, as Rhodiginus ob- 
serveth, suspected and ominous days in every month, as the 
first and seventh of March, and fifth and sixth of April, the 
sixth, the twelfth, and fifteenth of February. For the 
accounts hereof in these months are very different in our 
days, and were different with several nations in ages past, 
and how strictly soever the account be made, and even by 
the selfsame calendar, yet it is possible that navigators may 
be out. For so were the Hollanders, who passing westward 
through fretum le Mayre, and compassing the globe, upon 
their return into their own country found that they had lost 
a day. For if two men at the same time travel from the same 
place, the one eastward, the other westward, round about 
the earth, and meet in the same place from whence they first 
set forth, it will so fall out that he which hath moved east- 
ward against the diurnal motion of the sun, by anticipating 
daily something of its circle with its own motion, will gain 

9 men."] By the jugling Priests in the " Quicquid Greccia mendax m awl at in 
old mythologies of the heathen deytyes, historiis. — Wr. 
trulye taxte by the poet under that 


one day ; but he that travelleth westward, 1 with the motion 
of the sun, by seconding its revolution, shall lose or come 
short a day ; and therefore also upon these grounds that 
Delos was seated in the middle of the earth, it was no exact 
decision, because two eagles let fly east and west by 'Jupiter, 
their meeting fell out just in the island Delos. 


A digression of the wisdom of God in the site and motion 
of the Sun. 

Having thus beheld the ignorance of man in some things, 
his error and blindness in others, that is, in the measure of 
duration both of years and seasons, let us awhile admire the 
wisdom of God in this distinguisher of times, and visible deity 
(as some have termed it) the sun, which, though some from its 
glory adore, and all for its benefits admire, we shall advance 
from other considerations, and such as illustrate the artifice 
of its Maker. Nor do we think we can excuse the duty of 
our knowledge, if we only bestow the flourish of poetry 
hereon, or those commendatory conceits which popularly set 
forth the eminency of this creature, except we ascend unto 
subtiler considerations, and such, as rightly understood, con- 
vincingly declare the wisdom of the Creator. Which since 
a Spanish physician * hath begun, Ave will enlarge with our 

* Valerius de Philos. Sacr. 

1 wesiiuard.^\ Captain Bodraan, an voyage was from England to the Streits 
auncient and discreete gentleman, and of Magellan, and soe round by the Mo- 
learned, for his many services to the luccas and Cape of Good Hope, back to 
State, being admitted a poore Knight at England, which was totalye with the 
Windsor, was wont to tell mee, that at sonne, and therefore what they observed 
their returne from surrounding the world with admiration, concerning the losse of 
with Sir Francis Drake in the yeare a day in their accompt, had a manifest 
1579, they found that they lost a daye reason and cause to justifie the trueth of 
in their accomptes of their daylye sayl- that observation, and that itt could not 
inge, which agrees with this excellent possiblye bee otherwise. — Wr, 
observation of Dr. Browne; for their 


deductions, and this we shall endeavour from two considera- 
tions, its proper situation and wisely ordered motion. 

And first, we cannot pass over his providence, in that it 
moveth at all, for had it stood still, and were it fixed like the 
earth, there had been then no distinction of times, either of 
day or year, of spring, of autumn, of summer, or of winter; 
for these seasons are defined by the motions of the sun: 
when that approacheth nearest our zenith, or vertical point, 
we call it summer ; when furthest off, winter ; when in the 
middle spaces, spring or autumn ; whereas, remaining in one 
place, these distinctions had ceased, and consequently the 
generation of all things, depending on their vicissitudes; 
making in one hemisphere a perpetual summer, in the other 
a deplorable and comfortless winter. 2 And thus had it also 
been continual day unto some, and perpetual night unto 
others, for the day is defined by the abode of the sun above 
the horizon, and the night by its continuance below ; so 
should we have needed another sun, one to illustrate our 
hemisphere, a second to enlighten the other, which inconve- 
nience will ensue in what site soever we place it, whether in 
the poles or the equator, or between them both ; no spheri- 
cal body, of what bigness soever, illuminating the whole 

2 winter.~\ All this must of necessity motion of inclination to the son the som- 
evidentlye follow, unlesse (according to merhalfeyeare, and of inclination from the 
the supposition of Copernicus, for I sup- son in the halfe halfe, from whence must 
pose it was but a postulate of art, noe of necessity follow two vast and uncon- 
parte of his creed) that the son is fixed cedable postulates. First, that as the 
in the midst or center of this universal son, in his old sphere, is supposed in 
frame of the world, altogether immoova- respect of his distance from the center to 
ble, and that the earth, with all the vest moove noe lesse than 1S000 miles every 
of the elements, is annually caryed round minute of an hour, yf the earth bee in 
about the sonne in the sphere between the sons place, they must perforce ac- 
Mars and Venus, parting that lovinge knowledge the same pernicitye in the 
couple of godlings by its boysterous in- earth, and yet not perceptible to our 
trusion, but the mischeef is that besides sense, nor to the wisest of the world, 
this annual motion of the earth, mounted since the creation till our times. But to 
like Phsethon in the chariot and throne salve this, as they thinke, they suppose 
of the sonne, the Copernicans are forced, and postulate the second motion of rota- 
contrary to their own principles, that tion or whirling on his owne center, 
unius corporis ccclestis (for soe you must which others conceive to bee diametrally 
nowe accompte itt, though a dul and opposite to Scripture: but then there 
opacous planet, unius est mot us simplex,) recoyles upon them this strange conse- 
to ascribe two other motions to the earth ; quence that the earthe being 21600 miles 
the one a vertiginous rotation, whirling in compass, and whirling rounde every 
about his own center, wherby turning twenty-four howres, caryes every towne 
toward the son causeth daye, and turning and howse 89.5 miles every houre, and 
from the son, night; both of them every yet not discernablye. — Wr. 
twenty-lour hours; the other a tottering 


sphere of another, although it illuminate something more 
than half of a lesser, according unto the doctrine of the 

His wisdom is again discernible, not only in that it moveth 
at all, and in its bare motion, but wonderful in contriving the 
line of its revolution which is so prudently effected, that by 
a vicissitude in one body and light it sufficeth the whole earth 
affording thereby a possible or pleasurable habitation in every 
part thereof, and that is the line ecliptick, all which to effect 
by any other circle it had been impossible. For first, if we 
imagine the sun to make its course out of the ecliptick, and 
upon a line without any obliquity, let it be conceived within 
that circle that is either on the equator, or else on either 
side ; for if we should place it either in the meridian or colours, 
beside the subversion of its course from east to west, there 
would ensue the like incommodities. Now if we conceive 
the sun to move between the obliquity of this ecliptick in a 
line upon one side of the equator, then would the sun be 
visible but unto one pole, that is the same which was nearest 
unto it. So that unto the one it would be perpetual day, 
unto the other perpetual night; the one would be oppressed 
with constant heat, the other with insufferable cold, and so 
the defect of alternation would utterly impugn the generation 
of all things, which naturally require a vicissitude of heat to 
their production, and no less to their increase and conser- 

But if we conceive it to move in the equator, first unto a 
parallel sphere, or such as have the pole for their zenith, it 
would have made neither perfect day nor night. For being 
in the equator it would intersect their horizon, and be half 
above and half beneath it, or rather it would have made 
perpetual night to both ; for though in regard of the rational 
horizon, which bisecteth the globe into equal parts, the sun 
in the equator would intersect the horizon ; yet in respect 
of the sensible horizon, which is defined by the eye, the sun 
would be visible unto neither. For if as ocular witnesses 
report, and some also write, by reason of the convexity of 
the earth, the eye of man under the equator cannot discover 
both the poles, neither would the eye under the poles dis- 


cover the sun in the equator. Thus would there nothing 
fructify either near or under them, the sun being horizontal 
to the poles, and of no considerable altitude unto parts a 
reasonable distance from them. Again, unto a right sphere, 
or such as dwell under the equator, although it made a 
difference in day and night, yet would it not make any dis- 
tinction of seasons ; for unto them it would be constant summer, 
it being always vertical, and never deflecting from them. So 
had there been no fructification at all, and the countries 
subjected would be as unhabitable, as indeed antiquity con- 
ceived them. 

Lastly, it moving thus upon the equator, unto what position 
soever, although it had made a day, yet could it have made 
no year, for it could not have had those two motions 3 now 
ascribed unto it, that is, from east to west, whereby it makes 
the day, and likewise from west to east, whereby the year is 
computed. For according to received astronomy, the poles 
of the equator are the same with those of the primiim mobile. 
Now it is impossible that on the same circle, 4 having the 
same poles, both these motions, from opposite terms, should 
be at the same time performed, all which is salved, if we allow 
an obliquity in his annual motion, and conceive him to move 
upon the poles of the zodiack, distant from those of the world, 
twenty-three degrees and an half. Thus may we discern 

3 two motions.'] The motion from east makes his angels, ov has he made his 

to west is cald the motion of the world, owne bodye in his ascention, or as he 

bycause by itt all the whole frame of the makes the lightning or the light itself, 
universe is carved round every 24 howres, The compass of the earth, which is 

and among the rest of thecselestial lights 21 COO miles divided by 24 leaves in the 

the sun alsoe, to whom this motion does quotient 937 - i. e. 1 of miles, and soe 
not belong but passively onlye, and there- , ^,- 4 . 

fore heere was noe feare of crossing that man y the Copemicans thinke the earth 

undoubted principle which unavoydablv turaes eve, T h ? wre ! tbat ls , above ,5 

recoyls upon the Copemicans, who to make ™ les f er / minute of an houre ' and 

good their hypothesis, fancye a rotation of ab ?" 1 4 of a mile every second, i. e. 

dinetical, that is, a whirlinge rapture of the swlfter t 1 hen the . natural mot,on of ths 

earthe about his owne axe every 24 heart ' P™culdubio loca terra sub polis 

houres, that is, 900 miles every howre, Slta \ ne 1 uei <nt ab squatoris subjectis 

which is more impossible then for the f ernl : cl,ra honson ferrestns nusquam 

heaven which wee call the primum mobile ln 'P* oceano tranquillo CO miharmm visa 

to turne about 400,000 miles every tei<rain ftur : at polos cceli posse ab nsdem 

houre; unless they thinke that he who terrce lncolls simul conspici, mamfestum 

made itt soe infinitelye vast in com- e n x rarefactione quae sydera attolht ultra 

passe and in distance from us, could not distantiam honzontis raUonahs.— Wr. 
make itt as swift in motion alsoe, as lie circle.} Globe. Wr. 


the necessity of its obliquity, and how inconvenient its motion 
had been upon a circle parallel to the equator, or upon the 
equator itself. 

Now with what providence this obliquity is determined, 
we shall perceive upon the ensuing inconveniences from any 
deviation. For first, if its obliquity had been less (as instead 
of twenty-three degrees, twelve or the half thereof) the 
vicissitude of seasons appointed for the generation of all 
things would surely have been too short ; for different seasons 
would have huddled upon each other, and unto some it had 
not been much better than if it had moved on the equator. 
But had the obliquity been greater than now it is, as double, 
or of 40 degrees, several parts of the earth had not been able 
to endure the disproportionate differences of seasons, occa- 
sioned by the great recess, and distance of the sun. For 
unto some habitations the summer would have been extreme 
hot, and the winter extreme cold; likewise the summer tem- 
perate unto some, but excessive and in extremity unto others, 
as unto those who should dwell under the tropick of Cancer, 
as then would do some part of Spain, or ten degrees beyond, 
as Germany, and some part of England, who would have 
summers as now the Moors of Africa. For the sun would 
sometime be vertical unto them ; but they would have winters 
like those beyond tbe arctic circle, for in that season the sun 
would be removed above 80 degrees from them. Again, it 
would be temperate to some habitations in the summer, but 
very extreme in the winter; temperate to those in two or 
three degrees beyond the arctic circle, as now it is unto us, 
for they would be equidistant from that tropic, even as we 
are from this at present. But the winter would be extreme, 
the sun being removed above an hundred degrees, and so 
consequently would not be visible in their horizon, no position 
of sphere discovering any star distant above 90 degrees, which 
is the distance of every zenith from the horizon. And thus, 
if the obliquity of this circle had been less, the vicissitude of 
seasons had been so small as not to be distinguished ; if 
greater, so large and disportionable as not to be endured. 

Now for its situation, although it held this ecliptic line, yet 


had it been seated in any other orb, 5 inconveniences would 
ensue of condition unlike the former ; for had it been placed in 
the lowest sphere of the moon, the year would have consisted 
but of one month, for in that space of time it would have 
passed through every part of the ecliptic; so would there 
have been no reasonable distinction of seasons required for 
the generation and fructifying of all things, contrary seasons 
which destroy the effects of one another so suddenly succeed- 
ing. Besides, by this vicinity unto the earth, its heat had 
been intolerable ; for if, as many affirm, 6 there is a different 
sense of heat from the different points of its proper orb, and 
that in the apogeum or highest point, which happeneth in 
Cancer, it is not so hot under that tropic, on this side the 
equator, as unto the other side in the perigeum or lowest 
part of the eccentric, which happeneth in Capricornus, surely, 
being placed in an orb far lower, its heat would be unsuffer- 
able, nor needed we a fable to set the world on fire. 

But had it been placed in the highest orb, or that of the 
eighth sphere, there had been none but Plato's year, and a 
far less distinction of seasons ; for one year had then been 
many, and according unto the slow revolution of that orb 
which absolveth not his course in many thousand years, no 
man had lived to attain the account thereof. These are the 
inconveniences ensuing upon its situation in the extreme 
orbs, and had it been placed in the middle orbs of the planets, 
there would have ensued absurdities of a middle nature unto 

Now whether we adhere unto the hypothesis of Copernicus, 7 
affirming the earth to move and the sun to stand still ; or 
whether we hold, as some of late have concluded, from the 
spots in the sun, which appear and disappear again, that 

6 orb.~\ Orbit. was ever supposed to be, in a middle 

6 as many affirm, ] Especially Scaliger, orbe between Venus and Mars; the 
in that admirable work of his exercitations second not a motion of declination from 
upon Cardan de Subtilitate. Excrcit. the aequator to bothe the tropicks onlye, 
99, § 2, p. 342. — Wr, causinge the different seasons of the 

7 Copzrnicus.~\ Copernicus, to make yeare, but more properlye a motion of 
good his hypothesis, is forced to ascribe inclination likewise to the sonne. which 
a triple motion to the earthe ; the first supposes also the poles of the earth to bee 
annuall, round about the sonne, which mooved, and the third motion is that 
hee places in the midst of the universe, called dineticall, or rotation upon his 
and the earthe to bee caryed, as the sonne owne axis, causing day and night. — Wr. 


besides the revolution it maketh with its orbs, it hath also a 
dinetical 8 motion, and rolls upon its own poles; whether I 
say we affirm these or no, the illations before mentioned are 
not thereby infringed. We therefore conclude this contem- 
plation, and are not afraid to believe it may be literally said 
of the wisdom of God, what men will have but figuratively 
spoken of the works of Christ, that if the wonders thereof 
were duly described, the whole world, that is, all within the 
last circumference, would not contain them. For as his 
wisdom is infinite, so cannot the due expressions thereof be 
finite, and if the world comprise him not, neither can it 
comprehend the story of him. 


Concerning the vulgar opinion, that the earth was slenderly 
peopled before the flood. 

Beside the slender consideration, men of latter times do hold 
of the first ages, it is commonly opinioned, and at first thought 
generally imagined, that the earth was thinly inhabited, at 
least not remotely planted, before the flood, whereof there 
being two opinions, which seem to be of some extremity, 
the one too largely extending, the other too narrowly con- 
tracting the populosity of those times, we shall not pass over 
this point without some enquiry into it. 9 

8 dinetical.~\ Signifies whirlinge, from is not only injurious to the text, human 
5/WJ, which in the Greeke is a whirlpole, history, and common reason, but also 
soe that the dineticall motion of the son derogatory to the great work of God, 
is such, in their opinion, as that of the the universal inundation, it will be need- 
materiall globes, which wee make to turne ful to make some further inquisition ; 
upon their axis in a frame. — Wr. ar >d although predetermined by opinion, 

9 whereof, $c.~} Instead of this passage, whether many might not suffer in the 
the first five editions have the following : first flood, as they shall in the last flame, 
" So that some conceiving it needless to that is who knew not Adam nor his 
be universal, have made the deluge par- offence, and many perish in the deluge, 
ticular, and about those parts where Noah who never heard of Noah or the ark of 
built his ark ; which opinion, because it his preservation." 


Now for the true enquiry thereof, the means are as obscure 
as the matter, which being naturally to be explored by 
history, human or divine, receiveth thereby no small addi- 
tion of obscurity. For as for human relations, they are so 
fabulous in Deucalion's flood, that they are of little credit 
about Ogyges' and Noah's. For the heathens, as Varro 
accounteth, make three distinctions of time. The first from 
the beginning of the world unto the general deluge of Ogyges, 
they term Adelon, 1 that is, a time not much unlike that which 
was before time, immanifest and unknown ; because thereof 
there is almost nothing or very obscurely delivered; for 
though divers authors have made some mention of the deluge, 
as Manethon the Egyptian Priest, Xenophon, De JEquivocis, 
Fabius Pictor, De Aureo seculo, Mar. Cato, De Originibus, 
and Archilochus the Greek, who introduced! also the testi- 
mony of Moses, in his fragment De Temporibus ; yet have 
they delivered no account of what preceded or went before. 
Josephus, I confess, in his discourse against Appion, induceth 
the antiquity of the Jews unto the flood, and before, from the 
testimony of human writers, insisting especially upon Maseus 
of Damascus, Jeronymus iEgyptius, and Berosus ; and con- 
firming the long duration of their lives, not only from these, 
but the authority of Hesiod, Erathius, Hellanicus, and Age- 
silaus. Berosus, the Chaldean Priest, writes most plainly, 
mentioning the city of Enos, the name of Noah and his sons, 
the building of the ark, and also the place of its landing. 
And Diodorus Siculus hath in his third book a passage, 
which examined, advanceth as high as Adam ; for the Chal- 
deans, saith he, derive the original of their astronomy and 
letters forty three thousand years before the monarchy of 
Alexander the Great ; now the years whereby they computed 
the antiquity of their letters, being, as Xenophon interprets, 
to be accounted lunary, the compute will arise unto the time 

1 Adelon.} To the heathen who either importes, whereas in the church of God, 
knew nothing of the creation, or at least the third, (which they call historicall, and 
beleeved itt not, the first distinction of began not till after the 3000th yeare of 
time must needs bee adriXov, that is the world's creation with them,) was con- 
utterly unknowne, for the space of 1 656 tinued in a perfect narration and im- 
from the creation to the flood, and the questionable historye from the beginning 
second, the mythicon, little better, as the of time through those 3000 yeares.— It'r. 
very name they give itt, (yt is fabulous,) 


of Adam. For forty-three thousand lunary years make about 
three thousand six hundred thirty-four years, which answereth 
the chronology of time from the beginning of the world unto 
the reign of Alexander, as Annius of Viterbo computeth, in 
his comment upon Berosus. 

The second space or interval of time is accounted from 
the flood unto the first Olympiad, that is, the year of the 
world 3174, which extendeth unto the days of Isaiah the 
prophet, and some twenty years before the foundation of Rome. 
This they term mythicon or fabulous, because the account 
thereof, especially of the first part, is fabulously or imperfectly 
delivered. Hereof some things have been briefly related by 
the authors above mentioned, more particularly by Dares 
Phrygius, Dictys Cretensis, Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, 
and Trogus Pompeius. The most famous Greek poets lived 
also in this interval, as Orpheus, Linus, Museus, Homer, 
Hesiod ; and herein are comprehended the grounds and first 
invention of poetical fables, which were also taken up by 
historical writers, perturbing the Chaldean and Egyptian 
records with fabulous additions, and confounding their names 
and stories with their own inventions. 

The third time succeeding until their present ages, they 
term historicon, that is, such wherein matters have been 
more truly historificd, and may therefore be believed. Of 
these times also have written Herodotus, 2 Thucydides, Xeno- 
phon, Diodorus, and both of these and the other preceding 
such as have delivered universal histories or chronologies ; as 
(to omit Philo, whose narrations concern the Hebrews) Euse- 
bius, Julius Africanus, Orosius, Ado of Vienna, Marianus 
Scotus, Historia tripartita, Urspergensis, Carion, Pineda, 
Salian, and with us Sir Walter Raleigh. 

Now from the first hereof, that most concerneth us, we 
have little or no assistance, the fragments and broken records 

2 Herodotus.'] Yet the first parte of his (which to them was most obscure and 

historye begins not till the times of Apries, fabulous) the sacred storye is soe plaine 

that is, Hophreas, whose reign began not that thence Eusebius tooke his argument 

till the seige of Jerusalem by Nabu- to convince the heathen of their novel 

chodonosor, 475 yeares after Said, the idolatryes, the most whereof sprang upp 

first King of Israel, and at least 1224 in the end of these fabulous times Wr. 

yeares after the flood, of all which time 


hereof inforcing not at all our purpose. And although some 
things not usually observed may be from thence collected, 
yet do they not advantage our discourse, nor any way make 
evident the point in hand. For the second, though it directly 
concerns us not, yet in regard of our last medium and 
some illustrations therein, we shall be constrained to make 
some use thereof. As for the last, it concerns us not at all; 
for treating of times far below us, it can no way advantage us. 
And though divers in this last age have also written of the 
first, as all that have delivered the general accounts of time, 
yet are their tractates little auxiliary unto ours, nor afford us 
any light to detenebrate and clear this truth. 

As for Holy Scripture and divine relation, there may also 
seem therein but slender information, there being only left 
a brief narration hereof by Moses, and such as affords no 
positive determination. For the text delivereth but two 
genealogies, that is, of Cain and Seth ; in the line of Seth 
there are only ten descents, in that of Cain but seven, and 
those in a right line with mention of father and son, except- 
ing that of Lamech, where is also mention of wives, sons, and 
a daughter. Notwithstanding, if we seriously consider what 
is delivered therein, and what is also deducible, it will be 
probably declared what is by us intended, that is, the popu- 
lous and ample habitation of the earth before the flood. 
Which we shall labour to induce not from postulates and 
entreated maxims, but undeniable principles declared in Holy 
Scripture, that is, the length of men's lives before the flood, 
and the large extent of time from creation thereunto. 

We shall only first crave notice, that although in the 
relation of Moses there be very few persons mentioned, yet 
are there many more to be presumed ; nor when the Scripture 
in the line of Seth nominates but ten persons, are they to be 
conceived all that were of this generation. The Scripture 
singly delivering the holy line, wherein the world was to be 
preserved, first in Noah, and afterward in our Saviour. For 
in this line it is manifest there were many more born than are 
named, for it is said of them all, that they begat sons and 
daughters. And whereas it is very late before it is said they 


begat those persons which are named in the Scripture, the 
soonest at 65, it must not be understood that they had none 
before, but not any in whom it pleased God the holy line 
should be continued. And although the expression that they 
begat sons and daughters, be not determined to be before or 
after the mention of those, yet must it be before in some; for 
before it is said that Adam begat Seth at the 130th year, it 
is plainly affirmed that Cain knew his wife, and had a son, 
which must be one of the daughters of Adam, one of those 
whereof it is after said, he begat sons and daughters. And 
so, for ought can be disproved, there might be more persons 
upon earth than are commonly supposed when Cain slew 
Abel, nor the fact so heinously to be aggravated in the cir- 
cumstance of the fourth person living. And whereas it is 
said, upon the nativity of Seth, God hath appointed me 
another seed instead of Abel, it doth not imply he had no 
other all this while ; but not any of that expectation, or 
appointed (as his name implies) to make a progression in the 
holy line, in whom the world was to be saved, and from whom 
he should be born, that was mystically slain in Abel. 

Now our first ground to induce the numerosity of people 
before the flood, is the long duration of their lives, beyond 
seven, eight, and nine hundred years. Which how it con- 
duceth unto populosity, we shall make but little doubt, if we 
consider there are two main causes of numerosity in any kind 
or species, that is, a frequent and multiparous way of breed- 
ing, whereby they fill the world with others, though they 
exist not long themselves ; or a long duration and subsistence, 
whereby they do not only replenish the world with a new 
annumeration of others, but also maintain the former account 
in themselves. From the first cause we may observe examples 
in creatures oviparous, as birds and fishes ; in vermiparous, 
as flies, locusts, and gnats ; in animals also viviparous, as 
swine and conies. Of the first there is a great example in 
the herd of swine in Galilee, although an unclean beast, and 
forbidden unto the Jews. Of the other a remarkable one in 
Athenaeus, in the isle Astipalea, one of the Cyclades, now 
called Stampalia, wherein from two that were imported, the 


number so increased, that the inhabitants were constrained 
to have recourse unto the oracle of Delphos, for an invention 
how to destroy them. 

Others there are which make good the paucity of their 
breed with the length and duration of their days, whereof 
their want not examples in animals uniparous. First, in 
bisulcous or cloven hoofed, as camels and beeves, whereof 
there is above a million annually slain in England. It is also 
said of Job, that he had a thousand yoke of oxen, and six 
thousand camels, and of the children of Israel passing into 
the land of Canaan, that they took from the Midianites 
threescore and ten thousand beeves, and of the army of 
Semiramis, that there were therein one hundred thousand 
camels. For solipeds or firm hoofed animals, as horses, 
asses, mules, &c. they are also in mighty numbers; so it is 
delivered that Job had a thousand she asses ; that the Mi- 
dianites lost sixty-one thousand asses. For horses, it is 
affirmed by Diodorus, that Ninus brought against the Bac- 
trians two hundred eighty thousand horses ; after him 
Semiramis five hundred thousand horses, and chariots one 
hundred thousand. Even in creatures sterile, and such as do 
not generate, the length of life conduceth much unto the 
multiplicity of the species ; for the number of mules which 
live far longer than their dams or sires, in countries where 
they are bred, is very remarkable, and far more common than 

For animals multifidous, or such as are digitated or have 
several divisions in their feet, there are but two that are 
uniparous, that is, men and elephants, who, though their 
productions be but single, are notwithstanding very numerous. 
The elephant, as Aristotle affirmeth, carrieth the young two 
years, and conceiveth not again, as Edvardus Lopez affirmeth, 
in many years after, yet doth their age requite this disadvantage, 
they living commonly one hundred, sometime two hundred 
years. Now although they be rare with us in Europe, and 
altogether unknown unto America, yet in the two other parts 
of the world they are in great abundance, as appears by the 
relation of Garcias ab Horto, physician to the Viceroy at 


Goa, who relates that at one venation the King of Siam took 
four thousand, and is of opinion they are in other parts in 
greater number than herds of beeves in Europe. And though 
this, delivered from a Spaniard unacquainted with our northern 
droves, may seem very far to exceed, yet must we conceive 
them very numerous, if we consider the number of teeth 
transported from one country to another, they having only 
two great teeth, and those not falling or renewing. 

As for man, the disadvantage in his single issue is the same 
with these, and in the lateness of his generation somewhat 
greater than any ; yet in the continual and not interrupted 
time hereof, and the extent of his days, he becomes at pre- 
sent, if not than any other species, at least more numerous 
than these before mentioned. Now being thus numerous at 
present, and in the measure of threescore, fourscore, or an 
hundred years, if their days extended unto six, seven, or 
eight hundred, their generations would be proportionably 
multiplied, their times of generation being not only multiplied, 
but their subsistence continued. For though the great-grand- 
child went on, the petrucius* and first original would subsist 
and make one of the world, though he outlived all the terms 
of consanguinity, and became a stranger unto his proper pro- 
geny. So, by compute of Scripture, Adam lived unto the 
ninth generation, unto the days of Lamech, the father of 
Noah ; Methuselah unto the year of the flood, and Noah was 
contemporary unto all from Enoch unto Abraham. So that 
although some died, the father beholding so many descents, 
the number of survivors must still be very great ; for if half 
the men were now alive which lived in the last century, the 
earth would scarce contain their number. Whereas in our 
abridged and septuagesimal ages, it is very rare, and deserves 
a distich f to behold the fourth generation. Xerxes' complaint 
still remaining, and what he lamented in his army, being 
almost deplorable in the whole world ; men seldom arriving 
unto those years whereby Methuselah exceeded nine hundred, 
and what Adam came short of a thousand, was defined long 
ago to be the age of man. 

* The term for that person for whom consanguineal relations are accounted, as in 
the Arbor civilis. ■]■ Mater ait nata, die nates filia, fyc. 



Now, although the length of days conduceth mainly unto 
the numerosity of mankind, and it be manifest from Scripture 
they lived very long, yet is not the period of their lives 
determinable, and some might be longer livers than we 
account that any were. For, to omit that conceit of some 
that Adam was the oldest man, in as much as he is conceived 
to be created in the maturity of mankind, that is at sixty, for 
in that age it is set down they begat children, so that adding 
this number unto his 930, he was 21 years older than any of 
his posterity ; that even Methuselah was the longest liver of 
all the children of Adam we need not grant, nor is it defi- 
nitively set down by Moses. Indeed of those ten mentioned 
\n Scripture, with their several ages, it must be true, but 
whether those seven of the line of Cain and their progeny, 
or any of the sons' and daughters' posterity after them out- 
lived those, is not expressed in Holy Scripture, and it will 
seem more probable that of the line of Cain some were longer 
lived than any of Seth, if we concede that seven generations 
of the one lived as long as nine of the other. As for what is 
commonly alleged that God would not permit the life of any 
unto a thousand, because, alluding unto that of David, no 
man should live one day in the sight of the Lord, although 
it be urged by divers, yet is it methinks an inference somewhat 
rabbinical, and not of power to persuade a serious examiner. 

Having thus declared how powerfully the length of lives 
conduced unto the populosity of those times, it will yet be 
easier acknowledged if we descend to particularities, and 
consider how many in seven hundred years might descend 
from one man; wherein considering the length of their days, we 
may conceive the greatest number to have been alive together. 
And this, that no reasonable spirit may contradict, we will 
declare with manifest disadvantage : for whereas the duration 
of the world unto the flood was above 1600 years, we will 
make our compute in less than half that time. Nor will we 
begin with the first man, but allow the earth to be provided 
of women fit for marriage the second or third first centuries, 
and will only take as granted, that they might beget children 
at sixty, and at an hundred years have twenty, allowing for 
that number forty years. Nor will we herein single out 


Methuselah, or account from the longest livers, but make 
choice of the shortest of any we find recorded in the text, 
excepting Enoch, who, after he had lived as many years as 
there be days in the year, was translated at 365. And thus 
from one stock of seven hundred years, multiplying still by 
twenty, we shall find the product to be one thousand three 
hundred forty seven millions, three hundred sixty-eight 
thousand, four hundred and twenty. 

m 20. 

Century-^ 4 



y 160,000. 


7 J 1,280,000,000. 
I 1,347,368,420. 


Now, if this account of the learned Petavius will be al- 
lowed, it will make an unexpected increase, and a larger 
number than may be found in Asia, Africa, and Europe ; 
especially if in Constantinople, the greatest city thereof, there 
be no more than Botero accounteth, seven hundred thousand 
souls. Which duly considered, we shall rather admire how 
the earth contained its inhabitants, than doubt its inhabitation ; 
and might conceive the deluge not simply penal, but in some 
way also necessary, as many have conceived of translations, 3 
if Adam had not sinned, and the race of man had remained 
upon earth immortal. 

Now, whereas some to make good their longevity, have 
imagined that the years of their compute were lunary, unto 
these we must reply ; that if by a lunary year they under- 
stand twelve revolutions of the moon, that is, 354 days, 
eleven fewer than in the solary year ; there will be no great 
difference, at least not sufficient to convince or extenuate the 
question. But if by a lunary year they mean one revolution 

3 translations.'] That is, that after dye, but have been translated as Henoch 
some terme of yeares they should not was, into Heaven. — Wr. 



of the moon, that is, a month ; they first introduce a year 
never used by the Hebrews in their civil accounts ; and what 
is delivered before of the Chaldean years (as Xenophon gives 
a caution) was only received in the chronology of their arts. 
Secondly, they contradict the Scripture, which makes a plain 
enumeration of many months in the account of the deluge ; for 
so it is expressed in the text. " In the tenth month, in the 
first day of the month were the tops of the mountains seen." 
Concordant whereunto is the relation of human authors ; 
Inundationes plures fuere, prima nommestris inundatio terra- 
rum sub prisco Ogyge. Meminisse hoc loco par est post 
primum diluvium Ogygi temporibus notation, cum novem, et 
amplius mensibus diem continua nox inwnbrasset, Delon ante 
omnes terras radiis solis illuminatum sortitumque ex eo 
no?nen.* And lastly, they fall upon an absurdity, for they 
make Enoch to beget children about six years of age. For, 
whereas it is said he begat Methuselah at sixty-five 3 if we 
shall account every month 4 a year, he was at that time some 
six years and an half, for so many months are contained in 
that space of time. 

Having thus declared how much the length of men's lives 
conduced unto the populosity of their kind, our second 
foundation must be the large extent of time, from the crea- 
tion unto the deluge, (that is, according unto received com- 
putes about 1655 years,) almost as long a time as hath passed 
since the nativity of our Saviour. 5 And this we cannot but 

* Xenophon de JEqidvocis. Solinus. 

4 month] The spirit in many places (as tion, that is almost 6 dayes of the weeke, 
of Daniel, and the Apocalyps) hy dayes and that the dayes of the world shal bee, 
means yeares : but in noe place yeares as our Saviour foretold, much shortened, 
for dayes or monthes. — Wr. i.e. shall not continue to the full end of 

5 Saviour.^ And according to this num- 6000 yeares, i. e. 6 of God's dayes : they 
ber there are, that take upon them to conclude that the seventh day of asternal 
judge that when the yeares of the church's rest of the world and all the works 
age comes to as many since Christ's therm cannot bee far of. But how 
birthe, as those yeares of the world had far off, or how neere, is not for man 
from the creation to the flood, the con- to enquire, much less to define otherwise 
summation or consumption of the world then by way of Christian caution, to bee 
by fireprophesyed by St. Peter, 2d. Epist. always readye for the coming of that 
3 chap, v, 10, must needs bee then or kingdome, which wee every (day) pray, 
thereabouts fulfilled, as itt was before by may come speedilye. For doubtles yf 1600 
water at those years. For counting (say yeares agoe the Spirit thought itt requi- 
they) as the Apostle there does, that site to rowse them up with that memen- 
with God 1000 yeares are but as one to, "the Lord is at hand, bee yee there- 
daye, and that (as all agree) in this yeare fore sober and watche," itt may well bee 
of Christ, 1660, there arc just 5600 an alarum to us, on whom the ends of 
yeares of the world past since the crea- the world are come. — Wr. 


conceive sufficient for a very large increase, if we do but 
affirm what reasonable enquirers will not deny, — that the 
earth might be as populous in that number of years before 
the flood, as we can manifest it was in the same number after. 
And, whereas there may be conceived some disadvantage, in 
regard that at the creation the original of mankind was in 
two persons, but after the flood their propagation issued at 
least from six ; against this we might very well set the length 
of their lives before the flood, which were abbreviated after, 
and in half this space contracted into hundreds and three 
scores. Notwithstanding, to equalize accounts, we will allow 
three hundred years, and so long a time as we can manifest 
from the Scripture, there were four men at least that begat 
children, Adam, Cain, Seth, and Enos ; so shall we fairly and 
favourably proceed, if we affirm the world to have been as 
populous in sixteen hundred and fifty years before the flood, 
as it was in thirteen hundred after. Now how populous and 
largely inhabited it was within this period of time, we shall 
declare from probabilities, and several testimonies of Scripture 
and human authors. 

And first, to manifest the same near those parts of the 
earth where the ark is presumed to have rested, we have the 
relation of Holy Scripture, accounting the genealogy of 
Japhet, Cham, and Sem, and in this last, four descents unto 
the division of the earth in the days of Peleg, which time 
although it were not upon common compute much above an 
hundred years, yet were men at this time mightily increased. 
Nor can we well conceive it otherwise, if we consider they 
began already to wander from their first habitation, and were 
able to attempt so mighty a work as the building of a city 
and a tower, whose top should reach unto the heavens. 
Whereunto there was required no slender number of persons, 
if we consider the magnitude thereof, expressed by some, 
and conceived to be turris Bell in Herodotus ; 6 and the mul- 
titudes of people recorded at the erecting of the like or 
inferior structures, for at the building of Solomon's temple 

6 conceived to he, #c] Mr. Beke and the Babel or Babylon of Nebuchad- 
however, is of opinion that " the city and nezzar, were three totally distinctnlaces," 
tower of Babel, the Babel of Nimrod and Origencs Biblicce, p. 17. 


there were threescore and ten thousand that carried burdens, 
and fourscore thousand hewers in the mountains, beside the 
chief of his officers three thousand and three hundred ; and 
at the erection of the pyramids in the reign of king Cheops, 
as Herodotus reports, there were decern myriades, that is, 
an hundred thousand men. And though it be said of the 

Porrum et cospe nefas violare et frangere morsu ;* 

yet did the sums expended in garlick and onions amount 
unto no less than one thousand six hundred talents. 

The first monarchy or kingdom of Babylon is mentioned 
in Scripture under the foundation of Nimrod, which is also 
recorded in human history ; as beside Berosus, in Diodorus 
and Justin; for Nimrod of the Scriptures is Belus of the 
Gentiles, and Assur the same with Ninus his successor. 
There is also mention of divers cities, particularly of Nineveh 
and Resen, expressed emphatically in the text to be a 
great city. 

That other countries round about were also peopled, ap- 
pears by the wars of the monarchs of Assyria with the 
Bactrians, Indians, Scythians, Ethiopians, Armenians, Hyr- 
canians, Parthians, Persians, Susians ; they vanquished (as 
Diodorus relateth) Egypt, Syria, and all Asia Minor, even 
from Bosphorus unto Tanais. And it is said, that Semiramis 
in her expedition against the Indians brought along with her 
the king of Arabia. About the same time of the Assyrian 
monarchy, do authors place that of the Sycionians in Greece, 
and soon after that of the Argives, and not very long after, 
that of the Athenians under Cecrops ; and within our period 
assumed are historified many memorable actions of the 
Greeks, as the expedition of the Argonauts, with the most 
famous wars of Thebes and Troy. 

That Canaan also and Egypt were well peopled far within 
this period, besides their plantation by Canaan and Misraim, 
appeareth from the history of Abraham, who in less than 
400 years after the flood, journeyed from Mesopotamia unto 
Canaan and Egypt, both which he found well peopled and 

* Juvenal. 


policied into kingdoms. Wherein also in 430 years, from 
threescore and ten persons which came with Jacob into 
Egypt, he became a mighty nation ; for it is said, at their 
departure, there journeyed from Rhamesis to Succoth about 
six hundred thousand on foot, that were men, besides 
children. Now how populous the land from whence they 
came was, may be collected not only from their ability in 
commanding such subjections and mighty powers under them, 
but from the several accounts of that kingdom delivered by 
Herodotus. And how soon it was peopled, is evidenced from 
the pillar of their king Osyris, with this incription in Diodo- 
rus ; Mild pater est Saturnus deorum junior, sum vcro 
Osyris rex, qui totum peragravi orbem usque, ad Indorum 
fines, ad eos quo que sum profectus qui septentrioni subjacent 
usque ad Istri fontes, et alias partes usque ad Oceanum. 
Now, according unto the best determinations, Osyris was 
Misraim, and Saturnus Egyptius the same with Cham ; after 
whose name Egypt is not only called in Scripture the land of 
Ham, but thus much is also testified by Plutarch ; for in his 
treatise de Osyride, he delivereth that Egypt was called 
Chamia, a Chamo Noe filio, that is, from Cham the son of 
Noah. And if, according to the consent of ancient fathers, 
Adam was buried in the same place where Christ was cru- 
cified, that is mount Calvary, the first man ranged far before 
the flood, and laid his bones many miles from that place, 
where it 's presumed he received them. And this migration 
was the greater, if, as the text expresseth, he was cast out of 
the east side of paradise to till the ground ; and as the po- 
sition of the Cherubim implieth, who were placed at the 
east end of the garden to keep him from the tree of life. 

That the remoter parts of the earth were in this time 
inhabited, is also inducible from the like testimonies, for 
(omitting the numeration of Josephus, and the genealogies of 
the sons of Noah,) that Italy was inhabited appeareth from 
the records of Livy and Dionysius Halicarnasseus, the story 
of iEneas, Evander and Janus, whom Annius of Viterbo, 
and the chorographers of Italy, do make to be the same with 
Noah. That Sicily was also peopled is made out from the 
frequent mention thereof in Homer, the records of Diodorus 


and others, but especially from a remarkable passage touched 
by Aretius and Ranzanus, Bishop of Lucerium, but fully 
explained by Thomas Fazelli, in his accurate history of Sicily, 
that is, from ancient inscription in a stone at Panormo, ex- 
pressed by him in its pi'oper characters, and by a Syrian thus 
translated : Non est alius Deus prceter unum Deum, non 
est alius potens prceter eundem Deum, neque est alius victor 
prceter eundem quern colimus Deum ; Hujus turris prcefectus 
est Sscpha Jilius Eliphat, Jilii Esau, fratris Jacob, jilii Isaac, 
jilii Abraham ,• et turri quidem ipsi nomen est Baych, sed 
turri huic proximce nomen est Pharath. The antiquity of 
the inhabitation of Spain is also confirmable, not only from 
Berosus in the plantation of Tubal, and a city continuing 
yet in his name, but the story of Gerion, the travels of 
Hercules and his pillars, and especially a passage in Strabo, 
which advanceth unto the time of Ninus, thus delivered in 
his fourth book ; the Spaniards (saith he) affirm that they 
have had laws and letters above six thousand years. Now 
the Spaniards or Iberians observing (as Xenophon hath 
delivered) Annum quadrimestrem, four months unto a year, 
this compute will make up 2000 solary years, which is about 
the space of time from Strabo, who lived in the days of 
Augustus, unto the reign of Ninus. 

That Mauritania and the coast of Africa were peopled very 
soon, is the conjecture of many wise men, and that by the 
Phoenicians, 7 who left their country upon the invasion of 
Canaan by the Israelites. For beside the conformity of the 
Punick or Carthaginian language with that of Phoenicia, 
there is a pregnant and very remarkable testimony hereof in 
Procopius, who in his second de hello Vandalico, recordeth 
that in a town of Mauritania Tingitana, there was to be seen 
upon two white columns in the Phoenician language these 
ensuing words ; Nos Maurici sumus qui fugimus a facie 
Jehoschue Jilii Nunis prcedatoris. The fortunate islands or 
Canaries were not unknown ; for so doth Strabo interpret 
that speech in Homer of Proteus unto Menelaus. 

7 by the Phoenicians.'] " Tyrict Sidonis quasi Phceni appcllantur" Hieron. See 
in Phoenicis litorc civitatum Carthago Sclden, De Dim Syiis, Prolegomena, cap. 
colonia ; unde et Poeni, sermone corrupto 2, p. 10-24. — Jeff. 


Sed te qua terrae postremus terminus extat, 
Elysium in Campum ccelestia numina ducunt. 

The like might we affirm from credible histories both of 
France and Germany, and perhaps also of our own country. 
For omitting the fabulous and Trojan original delivered by 
Jeffrey of Monmouth, and the express text of Scripture, 
that the race of Japhet did people the isles of the Gentiles ; 
the British original was so obscure in Caesar's time, that he 
affirmeth the inland inhabitants were Aborigines, that is, 
such as reported that they had their beginning in the island. 
That Ireland our neighbour island was not long time without 
inhabitants, may be made probable by sundry accounts, 
although we abate the tradition of Bartholanus the Scythian, 
who arrived three hundred years 8 after the flood, or the 
relation of Giraldus, that Caesaria, the daughter of Noah, 
dwelt there before. 

Now should we call in the learned account of Bochartus,* 
deducing the ancient names of countries from Phoenicians, 
who by their plantations, discoveries, and sea negociations, 
have left unto very many countries, Phoenician denominations, 
the enquiry would be much shorter; and if Spain, in the 
Phoenician original, be but the region of conies, Lusitania, 
or Portugal, the country of almonds, if Britannica were at 
first Baratanaca, or the land of tin, and Ibernia or Ireland 
were but Ibernae, or the farthest inhabitation, and these 
names imposed and dispersed by Phoenician colonies, in their 
several navigations, the antiquity of habitations might be 
more clearly advanced. 

Thus though we have declared how largely the world was 
inhabited within the space of 1300 years, yet must it be con- 
ceived more populous than can be clearly evinced ; for a 
greater part of the earth hath ever been peopled, than hath 

* Bochart. Geog. Sacr. part. 2. 

8 three hundred years.] This yeare, deducted out of the present yeare of the 

1050, is the 5600 yeare of the worlde world 5600, there remaine 3644 yeares 

since the creation ; out of which, yf you this yeare, since Bartolanus is said to 

take the yeare of the floodd, viz. in the arrive in Irelande, which neither Scripture 

yeare of the work' 1656, and also the nor any story mentions, and therefore is 

300 yeares more here mentioned, the a feigned and foolish tradition. — Wr, 
summe will be 1956, which being againe 


been known or described by geographers, as will appear by 
the discoveries of all ages. For neither in Herodotus or 
Thucydides do we find any mention of Rome, nor in Ptolemy 
of many parts of Europe, Asia, or Africa; and because many 
places we have declared of long plantation, of whose popu- 
losity notwithstanding or memorable actions we have no 
ancient story ; if we may conjecture of these by what we find 
related of others, we shall not need many words, nor assume 
the half of 1300 years. And this we might illustrate from 
the mighty acts of the Assyrians, performed not long after 
the flood, recorded by Justine and Diodorus, who makes 
relation of expeditions by armies more numerous than have 
been ever since. For Ninus, 9 King of Assyria, brought 
against the Bactrians 700,000 foot, 200,000 horse, 10,600 
chariots. Semiramis, his successor, led against the Indians 
1,300,000 foot, 500,000 horse, 100,000 chariots, and as many 
upon camels. 1 And it is said Staurobates, the Indian king, 
met her with greater forces than she brought against him ; 
all which was performed within less than four hundred years 
after the flood. 

Now if any imagine the unity of their language did hinder 
their dispersion before the flood, we confess it some hindrance 
at first, but not much afterward. For though it might restrain 
their dispersion, it could not their populosity, which neces- 
sarily requireth transmigration and emission of colonies ; as 
we read of Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians in ages past, and 
have beheld examples thereof in our days. We may also 
observe that after the flood, before the confusion of tongues, 
men began to disperse. For it is said they journeyed towards 
the east, and the Scripture itself expresseth a necessity con- 
ceived of their dispersion, for the intent of erecting the tower 

9 Ninus.'] Soe Ninus had in his armye arniye, and as many or more on the 

974,200, reckoning to every chariot six adverse side, what countryes could hold, 

fightinge men (on each side three) be- much less feed them ? For Sennacherib's 

sides the charioteer ; but Semiramis, her army did not reach to the twenlithe 

army was not less then 2,000,000, i. e. parte of these conjoyned numbers, and 

above twice soe manye ; and yf Stauro- yet he boasted to have drunk the rivers 

bates his army were greater, doubtless drye. — Wr. 

never any since that time came neere ' upon camels.'] 300,000 ox hides stuffed 

those numbers. Then reckoninge at the to represent elephants, and carried upon 

least of horses, 4 in each chariot, and of camels. — Jeff. 
camels, in all 500,000 beasts in her 


is so delivered in the text, " lest we be scattered abroad upon 
the face of the earth." 

Again, if any apprehend the plantation of the earth more 
easy in regard of navigation and shipping discovered since 
the flood, whereby the islands and divided parts of the earth 
are now inhabited; he must consider that whether there 
were islands or no before the flood, is not yet determined, 
and is with probability denied by very learned authors. 

Lastly, if we shall fall into apprehension that it was less 
inhabited, because it is said in the sixth of Genesis, about 
120 years before the flood, "And it came to pass that when 
men began to multiply upon the face of the earth ;" beside 
that this may be only meant of the race of Cain, it will not 
import they were not multiplied before, but that they were at 
that time plentifully increased ; for so is the same word used 
in other parts of Scripture. And so is it afterward in the ninth 
chapter said, that " Noah began to be an husbandman," that 
is, he was so, or earnestly performed the acts thereof; so is 
it said of our Saviour, that he " began to cast them out that 
bought and sold in the temple." that is, he actually cast them 
out, or with alacrity effected it. 

Thus have I declared some private and probable concep- 
tions in the enquiry of this truth ; but the certainty hereof 
let the arithmetic of the last day determine, and therefore 
expect no further belief than probability and reason induce. 
Only desire men would not swallow dubiosities for certainties, 
and receive as principles points mainly controvertible; for 
we are to adhere unto things doubtful in a dubious and 
opinionative way. It being reasonable for every man to vary 
his opinion according to the variance of his reason, and to 
affirm one day what he denied another. Wherein although 
at last we miss of truth, we die notwithstanding in harmless 
and inoffensive errors, because we adhere unto that, where- 
unto the examen of our reasons, and honest inquiries induce 
us. 2 

2 induce us.'] And whatsoever is beyond vincible ignorance.— Wr. 
this search must bee imputed to an in- 



Of East and West, 

The next shall be of east and west ; that is, the proprieties 
and conditions ascribed unto regions respectively unto those 
situations ; which hath been the obvious conception of phi- 
losophers and geographers, magnifying the condition of 
India, and the eastern countries, above the setting and occi- 
dental climates : some ascribing hereto the generation of 
gold, precious stones, and spices, others the civility and 
natural endowments of men ; conceiving the bodies of this 
situation to receive a special impression from the first salutes 
of the sun, and some appropriate influence from his ascen- 
dent and oriental radiations. But these proprieties, affixed 
unto bodies, upon considerations reduced from east, west, or 
those observable points of the sphere, how specious and 
plausible soever, will not upon enquiry be justified from such 

For to speak strictly, there is no east and west in nature, 
nor are those absolute and invariable, but respective and 
mutable points, according unto different longitudes, or dis- 
tant parts of habitation, whereby they suffer many and 
considerable variations. For first, unto some the same part 
will be east or west in respect of one another, that is, unto 
such as inhabit the same parallel, or differently dwell from 
east to west. Thus, as unto Spain Italy lieth east, unto 
Italy Greece, unto Greece Persia, and unto Persia China; so 
again, unto the country of China Persia lieth west, unto Persia 
Greece, unto Greece Italy, and unto Italy Spain. So that 
the same country is sometimes east and sometimes west ; and 
Persia though east unto Greece, yet is it west unto China. 

Unto other habitations the same point will be both east 
and west ; as unto those that are Antipodes or seated in 
points of the globe diametrically opposed. So the Americans 


are antipodal unto the Indians, and some part of India is both 
east and west unto America, according as it shall be regard- 
ed from one side or the other, to the right or to the left ; and 
setting out from any middle point, either by east or west, the 
distance unto the place intended is equal, and in the same 
space of time in nature also performable. 

To a third that have the poles for their vertex 3 or dwell 
in the position of a parallel sphere, there will be neither east 
nor west, at least the greatest part of the year. For if, (as 
the name oriental implieth) they shall account that part to be 
east wherever the sun ariseth, or that west where the sun is 
occidental or setteth ; almost half the year they have neither 
the one nor the other. For half the year it is below the 
horizon, and the other half it is continually above it, and cir- 
cling 4 round about them intersecteth not the horizon, nor 
leaveth any part for this compute. And if (which will seem 
very reasonable) that part should be termed the eastern point 
where the sun at equinox, and but once in the year, ariseth, 
yet will this also disturb the cardinal accounts, nor will it with 
propriety admit that appellation. For that surely cannot be 
accounted east which hath the south on both sides ; which 
notwithstanding this position must have. For if, unto such as 
live under the pole, that be only north which is above them, 
that must be southerly which is below them, which is all the 
other portion of the globe, beside that part possessed by 
them. And thus, these points of east and west being not 
absolute in any, respective in some, and not at all relating unto 
others, we cannot hereon establish so general considerations, 
nor reasonably erect such immutable assertions, upon so un- 
stable foundations. 

Now the ground that begat or promoted this conceit was, 
first, a mistake in the apprehension of east and west, con- 
sidering thereof as of the north and south, and computing 

3 vertex.'] This is spoken by way of the space of almost as many dayes as 
supposition, yf any such there be that there are minutes in his diameter : ap- 
dwell under the pole. — Wr. pearing by those degrees in every circu- 

4 and circling.] And abuutt the tenthe lation (of 24 houres time) more and more 
of Marche, before and after, the discus conspicuous, as hee uses to doe, when he 
of the son wheles about the verge of the gets out of total eclypse. — W. 
horizon, and rises not totally above itt for 


by these as invariably as by the other. But herein, upon 
second thoughts, there is a great disparity : for the north and 
southern pole are the invariable terms of that axis whereon 
the heavens do move, and are therefore incommunicable and 
fixed points, whereof the one is not apprehensible in the 
other. But with east and west it is quite otherwise : for the 
revolution of the orbs being made upon the poles of north 
and south, all other points about the axis are mutable ; and 
wheresoever therein the east point be determined, by succes- 
sion of parts in one revolution every point becometh east. 
And so, if where the sun ariseth that part be termed east, 
every habitation, differing in longitude, will have this point 
also different, in as much as the sun successively ariseth unto 
every one. 5 

The second ground, although it depend upon the former, 
approacheth nearer the effect ; and that is, the efficacy of the 
sun, set out and divided according to priority of ascent ; 
whereby his influence is conceived more favourable unto one 
country than another, and to felicitate India more than any 
after. But hereby we cannot avoid absurdities, and such as 
infer effects controlable by our senses. For first, by the 
same reason that we affirm the Indian richer than the Ameri- 
can, the American will also be more plentiful than the Indian, 
and England or Spain more fruitful than Hispaniola or golden 
Castile ; 6 in as much as the sun ariseth unto the one sooner 
than the other ; and so accountably unto any nation subject- 
ed unto the same parallel, or with a considerable diversity of 
longitude from each other. Secondly, an unsufferable absur- 
dity will ensue; for thereby a country may be more fruitful 
than itself. For India is more fertile than Spain, because 
more east, and that the sun ariseth first unto it; Spain like- 
wise by the same reason more fruitful than America, and 
America than India; so thac Spain is less fruitful than that 
country, which a less fertile country than itself excelleth. 

Lastly, if we conceive the sun hath any advantage by 

5 every one.] Every generall Meridian distant from London, for when 'tis noone 
hath a several east pointe and west (in heere, 'tis 5 in the morne with them, 
their horizon) that live under i tt. ■ — Wr. — Wr. 

6 Castile.] Virginia is ahout 7 houres 


priority of ascent, or makes thereby one country more happy 
than another, we introduce injustifiable determinations, and 
impose a natural partiality on that luminary, which being 
equidistant from the earth, and equally removed in the east 
as in the west, his power and efficacy in both places must be 
equal, as Boetius hath taken notice, and Scaliger* hath gra- 
phically declared, Some have therefore forsaken this refuge 
of the sun, and to salve the effect have recurred unto the 
influence of the stars, making their activities national, and ap- 
propriating their powers unto particular regions. So Cardan 
conceiveth, the tail of Ursa Major peculiarly respecteth Eu- 
rope : whereas indeed once in twenty-four hours it also 
absolveth its course over Asia and America. And therefore 
it will not be easy to apprehend those stars peculiarly glance 
on us, who must of necessity carry a common eye and regard 
unto all countries, unto whom their revolution and verticity is 
also common. 

The effects therefore, or 7 different productions in several 
countries, which we impute unto the action of the sun, must 
surely have nearer and more immediate causes than that 
luminary. 8 And these if we place in the propriety of clime, 
or condition of soil wherein they are produced, we shall 
more reasonably proceed, than they who ascribe them unto 
the activity of the sun. Whose revolution being regular, it 
hath no power nor efficacy peculiar from its orientality, but 
equally disperseth his beams unto all which equally, and in 
the same restriction, receive his lustre. And being an uni- 
versal and indefinite agent, the effects or productions we 
behold receive not their circle from his causality, but are 
determined by the principles of the place, or qualities of 
that region which admits them. And this is evident not only 
in gems, minerals, and metals, but observable in plants and 
animals; whereof some are common unto many countries, 
some peculiar unto one, some not communicable unto another. 

* De gemmis exercltat. 

lor] Reade of. — Wr. The Dr's is s luminary.] Cald by God the greate 
the true reading, see it repeated a few lighte. — Wr. 
lines further on. 


For the hand of God that first created the earth, hath with 
variety disposed the principles of all things ; wisely contri- 
ving them in their proper seminaries, and where they best 
maintained the intention of their species ; whereof if they 
have not a concurrence, and be not lodged in a convenient 
matrix, they are not excited by the efficacy of the sun ; nor 
failing in particular causes, receive a relief or sufficient pro- 
motion from the universal. For although superior powers 
co-operate with inferior activities, and many (as some con- 
ceive) carry a stroke in the plastick and formative draught of 
all things, yet do their determinations belong unto particular 
agents, and are defined from their proper principles. Thus 
the sun which with us is fruitful in the generation of frogs, 
toads, and serpents, to this effect proves impotent in our 
neighbour island ; 9 wherein as in all other, carrying a com- 
mon aspect, it concurreth but unto predisposed effects, and 
only suscitates those forms, whose determinations are semi- 
nal, and proceed from the idea of themselves. 

9 which with us, 8(C.~\ Itt is a true 
and remarkable thing that wheras Tslip 
and Bletchinton in Oxon shire are not 
distant above 2 miles, and noe river be- 
tween, yet noe man living remembers a 
snake or adder found alive in Bletchin- 
ton (which abounds with frogs and toods) 
and yf they bee brought from Islip, or 
other partes, unto that towne, they dye, 
as venemous things doe on Irish earthe, 
brought thence by ship into our gardens 
in England : nor is this proper to Irish 
earthe, but to the timber brought thence, 
as appeares in that vast roof of King's 
College Chappel in Cambridge, where 
noe man ever saw a spider, or their webs, 
bycause itt is all of Irish timber. — Wr. 

On reading the preceding passage, I 
wrote to a friend in Cambridge requesting 
that some inquiry might be made as to 
the matter of fact. I subjoin an extract 
from his reply : — • 

" Ever since I was a boy, I have heard 
the traditional account of the roof and 
more particularly the organ loft of King's 
College Chapel, being formed of Irish 
oak, and that no spiders or their webs 
are to be found upon it. I yesterday 
took an opportunity of making a per- 
sonal enquiry and examination — two cu- 
rators had, I found, since passed to the 
silent tomb, a third whom I now met 

with had not even heard of the circum- 
stance, though an intelligent man, and 
who seemed to enter at once into the 
nature of my enquiries. He wished me to 
go up to the roof and examine for my- 
self, assuring me, that no trouble was 
taken to sweep it over at any time ; I 
went up and could not succeed in dis- 
covering the least appearance of a cob- 
web, much less of a spider ; from the 
stone roof which is underneath the 
wooden roof, he informed me that in 
some parts the spider's webs were very 
abundant and troublesome. 

I saw the organist, who seemed to be 
aware of the tradition, though almost 
forgotten, and who told me there was 
plenty of dust for want of proper care 
of the place, but he believed there were 
no spiders ; he had officiated many years, 
but had never seen one. 

The curator has promised to bring me 
a spider or web if he can find one, and 
seemed much pleased with the, to him, 
novel information." 

The Hon. D. Barrington (in the Phi- 
losophical Transactions, vol. lix, p. 30,) 
says that he had examined several an- 
cient timber roofs, without being able to 
detect any spider's webs. He accounts 
however for this, on the principle that 
files are not to be found in such situations. 


Now, whereas there be many observations concerning east, 
and divers considerations of art which seem to extol the 
quality of that point, if rightly understood they do not 
really promote it. That the astrologer takes account of na- 
tivities from the ascendant, that is, the first house of the 
heavens, whose beginning is toward the east, it doth not 
advantage the conceit. For he establisheth not his judgment 
upon the orientality thereof, but considereth therein his first 
ascent above the horizon ; at which time its efficacy becomes 
observable, and is conceived to have the signification of life, 
and to respect the condition of all things, which at the same 
time arise from their causes, and ascend to their horizon with 
it. Now this ascension indeed falls out respectively in the east; 
but, as we have delivered before, in some positions there is 
no eastern point from whence to compute these ascensions. 
So is it in a parallel sphere : for unto them six houses are 
continually depressed, and six never elevated; and the 
planets themselves, whose revolutions are of more speed, and 
influences of higher consideration, must find in that place a 
very imperfect regard ; for half their period they absolve 
above, and half beneath the horizon. And so, for six years, 
no man can have the happiness to be born under Jupiter : 
and for fifteen together all must escape the ascendant do- 
minion of Saturn, 

That Aristotle, in his Politicks, commends the situation of 
a city which is open towards the east and admitteth the rays 
of the rising sun, thereby is implied no more particular 
efficacy than in the west : but that position is commended, in 
regard the damps and vaporous exhalations, engendered in 
the absence of the sun, are by his returning rays the sooner 
dispelled ; and men thereby more early enjoy a clear and 
healthy habitation. 1 Upon the like considerations it is, that 

and therefore spiders do not frequent in the west parts of England, to differ- 

them. How would this remark agree ence such from all others, they call them 

•with the number of cobwebs found in by a significant name, East-up-springs, 

the stone roof of King's College ? intimating by that proper name, a proper 

1 habitation.] The waters of those kind of excellencye, above other springs, 

springs are held to bee most medicinal especially yf the soile from whence they 

(of all others) which rise into the easte, rise bee chalke, or pure gravell. — Wr. 
for this very reason here ulleaged : hence 



Marcus Varro * commendeth the same situation, and expo- 
seth his farm unto the equinoxial ascent of the sun ; and that 
Palladius adviseth the front of his edifice should so respect 
the south, that in the first angle it receive the rising rays of 
the winter sun, and decline a little from the winter setting 
thereof. And concordant hereunto is the instruction of 
Columella, De positione villce ; which he contriveth into sum- 
mer and winter habitations, ordering that the winter lodgings 
regard the winter ascent of the sun, that is south-east ; and 
the rooms of repast at supper, the equinoxial setting thereof, 
that is, the west ; that the summer lodgings regard the equi- 
noxial meridian : but the rooms of cenation in the summer, 
he obverts unto the winter ascent, that is, south-east; and 
the balnearies or bathing places, that they may remain under 
the sun until evening, he exposeth unto the summer setting, 
that is, north-west ; in all which, although the cardinal points 
be introduced, yet is the consideration solary, and only de- 
termined unto the aspect or visible reception of the sun. 

Jews and Mahometans in these and our neighbour parts 
are observed to use some gestures towards the east, as at 
their benediction, and the killing of their meat. And though 
many ignorant spectators, and not a few of the actors, con- 
ceive some magick or mystery therein, yet is the ceremony 
only topical, and in a memorial relation unto a place they 
honour. So the Jews do carry a respect and cast an eye 
upon Jerusalem, for which practice they are not without the 
example of their forefathers, and the encouragement of their 
wise king; for so it is said that Daniel " went into his house, 
and his windows being opened towards Jerusalem, he kneeled 
upon his knees three times a day, and prayed."f So is it 
expressed in the prayer of Solomon, " What prayer or sup- 
plication soever be made by any man, which shall spread forth 
his hands towards this house ; if thy people go out to battle, 
and shall pray unto the Lord towards the city which thou 
hast chosen, and towards the house which I have chosen to 
build for thy name, then hear thou in heaven their prayer 
and their supplication, and maintain their cause." Now the 

* De lie Rusli^a. f Dan. vi. 


observation hereof, unto the Jews that are dispersed west- 
ward, and such as most converse with us, directeth their 
regard unto the east ; but the words of Solomon are appliable 
unto all quarters of heaven, and by the Jews of the east and 
south must be regarded in a contrary position. So Daniel in 
Babylon looking toward Jerusalem had his face toward the 
west. So the Jews in their own land looked upon it from all 
quarters : for the tribe of Judah beheld it to the north ; 
Manasses, Zabulon, and Napthali unto the south ; Reuben 
and Gad unto the west ; only the tribe of Dan regarded it 
directly or to the due east. So when it is said, " When you 
see a cloud rise out of the west, you say there cometh a 
shower, and so it is ;"* the observation was respective unto 
Judea ; nor is this a reasonable illation, in all other nations 
whatsoever. For the sea lay west unto that country, and the 
winds brought rain from that quarter; but this consideration 
cannot be transferred unto India or China, which have a vast 
sea eastward, and a vaster continent toward the west. So 
likewise, when it is said in the vulgar translation, "Gold 
cometh out of the north,"f it is no reasonable inducement 
unto us and many other countries, from some particular mines 
septentrional unto his situation, to search after that metal in 
cold and northern regions, which we most plentifully discover 
in hot and southern habitations. 

For the Mahometans, as they partake with all religions in 
something, so they imitate the Jews in this. For in their 
observed gestures, they hold a regard unto Mecca and 
Medina Talnaby, two cities in Arabia Felix, where their pro- 
phet was born and buried, whither they perform their pilgri- 
mages, and from whence they expect he should return again. 
And therefore they direct their faces unto these parts ; which, 
unto the Mahometans of Barbary and Egypt, lie east, and 
are in some point thereof unto many other parts of Turkey. 
Wherein notwithstanding there is no oriental respect ; for 
with the same devotion on the other side, they regard these 
parts toward the west, and so with variety wheresoever they 
are seated, conforming unto the ground of their conception. 

* Luke xii. f Job. xxxvii. 

R 2 


Fourthly, whereas in the ordering of the camp of Israel, 
the east quarter is appointed unto the noblest tribe, that is, 
the tribe of Judah, according to the command of God, " In 
the east side toward the rising of the sun shall the standard 
of the tribe of Judah pitch ;"* it doth not peculiarly extol 
that point. For herein the east is not to be taken strictly, 
but as it signifieth or implieth the foremost place ; for Judah 
had the van, and many countries through which they passed 
were seated easterly, unto them. Thus much is implied by 
the original, and expressed by translations which strictly con- 
form thereto. So Tremellius, Castra habentium ab anteriore 
jKirte Orientem versus, vexillum esto castrorum Judce : so 
hath R. Solomon Jarchi expounded it ; the foremost or be- 
fore is the east quarter, and the west is called behind. And 
upon this interpretation may all be salved that is allegeable 
against it. For if the tribe of Judah were to pitch before 
the tabernacle at the east, and yet to march first, as is com- 
manded, Numb, x, there must ensue a disorder in the camp, 
nor could they conveniently observe the execution thereof. 
For when they set out from Mount Sinai, where the command 
was delivered, they made northward unto Rithmah ; from 
Rissah unto Eziongaber about fourteen stations they marched 
south ; from Almon Diblathaim through the mountains of 
Abarim and plains of Moab toward Jordan the face of their 
march was west. So that if Judah were strictly to pitch in 
the east of the tabernacle, every night he encamped in the 
rear ; and if (as some conceive) the whole camp could not be 
less than twelve miles long, it had been preposterous for him 
to have marched foremost, or set out first, who was most 
remote from the place to be approached. 

Fifthly, that learning, civility, and arts, had their beginning 
in the east, it is not imputable either to the action of the sun, 
or its orientality, but the first plantation of man in those parts, 
which unto Europe do carry the respect of east. For on the 
mountains of Ararat, this is, part of the hill Taurus, between 
the East Indies and Scythia, as Sir W. Raleigh accounts it, 
the ark of Noah rested ; from the east they travelled that 

* Numb. ii. 


built the tower of Babel: from thence they were dispersed 
and successively enlarged, and learning, good arts, and all 
civility communicated. The progression whereof was very 
sensible, and if we consider the distance of time between the 
confusion of Babel, and the civility of many parts now eminent 
therein, it travelled late and slowly into our quarters. Tor not- 
withstanding the learning of bards and druids of elder times, he 
that shall peruse that work of Tacitus, De moribas Germano- 
rum, may easily discern how little civility two thousand years 
had wrought upon that nation ; the like he may observe con- 
cerning ourselves from the same author in the life of Agricola, 
and more directly from Strabo, who, to the dishonour of our 
predecessors, and the disparagement of those that glory in 
the antiquity of their ancestors, affirmeth the Britons were 
so simple, that though they abounded in milk, they had not 
the artifice of cheese. 

Lastly, that the globe itself is by cosmographers divided 
into east and west, accounting from the first meridian, it doth 
not establish this conceit. For that division is not naturally 
founded, but artificially set down, and by agreement, as the 
aptest terms to define or commensurate the longitude of 
places. Thus the ancient cosmographers do place the division 
of the east and western hemisphere, that is, the first term of 
longitude, in the Canary or Fortunate Islands ; conceiving 
these parts the extremest habitations westward. But the 
moderns have altered that term, and translated it unto the 
Azores or islands of St. Michael, and that upon a plausible 
conceit of the small or insensible variation of the compass in 
those parts. Wherein nevertheless, and though upon a second 
invention, they proceed upon a common and no appropriate 
foundation; for even in that meridian farther north or south 
the compass observably varieth ; 2 and there are also other 

2 varieth,} Mr. Gunter, about 35 ation of the former variations dayly ; 

yeares agoe, observd the variation of the whereof the cause may bee in the several 

compass at Redriff not to bee greate by loadstones brought from several places. 

an excellent needle of 8 inches lengthe ; For the mines of iron, whence they are 

yet now at this day the variation in the taken, not running all exactly north and 

very same place is about halfe a pointe southe, may imprinte a different force, 

different, as some artizans confidently and verticity in the needles toucht by 

avouch upon experience; and our best them, according to the difference of their 

mathematicians aver that there is a vari- own situation. Soe that the variation is 


places wherein it varieth not, as Alphonso and Rocloriges de 
Lago will have it about Capo de las Agullas, in Africa ; as 
Maurolycus affirmeth in the shore of Peloponnesus, in Eu- 
rope ; and as Gilbertus averreth, in the midst of great regions, 
in most parts of the earth. 


Of the River Nilus. 

Hereof uncontrollably and under general consent many opi- 
nions are passant, which notwithstanding, upon due examina- 
tion, do admit of doubt or restriction. It is generally esteemed, 
and by most unto our days received, that the river of Nilus 
hath seven ostiaries, that is, by seven channels disburdened 
itself into the sea. Wherein, notwithstanding, beside that we 
find no concurrent determination of ages past, and a positive 
and undeniable refute of these present, the affirmative is 
mutable, and must not be received without all limitation. 

For some, from whom we receive the greatest illustrations 
of antiquity, have made no mention hereof. So Homer hath 
given no number of its channels, nor so much as the name 
thereof in use with all historians. Eratosthenes in his de- 
scription of Egypt hath likewise passed them over. Aristotle 
is so indistinct in their names and numbers, that in the first 
of Meteors he plainly affirmeth, the region of Egypt (which 
we esteem the ancientest nation of the world) was a mere 
gained ground, and that by the settling of mud and limous 
matter brought down by the river Nilus, that which was at 
first a continued sea, 3 was raised at last into a firm and 
habitable country. The like opinion he held of Mseotis Palus, 

not, or can bee in respect of the pole, them severally be alvvayes the same in 

but of the needles. It would be therefore the same place or noe. — Wr. 

exactly inquired by several large stones 3 sea.] Moore, 
old and new, whether the vcrticity of 


that by the floods of Tanais and earth brought down thereby, 
it grew observably shallower in his days, and would in process 
of time become a firm land. And though 4 his conjecture be 
not as yet fulfilled, yet is the like observable in the river 
Gihon, 5 a branch of Euphrates and river of Paradise, which 
having in former ages discharged itself into the Persian Sea, 
doth at present fall short, being lost in the lakes of Chaldea, 
and hath left between them and the sea a large and con- 
siderable part of dry land. 

Others expressly treating hereof, have diversly delivered 
themselves. Herodotus in his Euterpe makes mention of 
seven, but carelessly of two hereof, that is, Bolbitinum and 
Bucolicum ; 6 for these, saith he, were not the natural currents, 
but made by art for some occasional convenience. Strabo, in 
his geography, naming but two, Peleusiacum and Canopicum, 
plainly affirmeth there were more than seven ; Inter hcec alia 
quinque, &c. There are, saith he, many remarkable towns 
within the currents of Nile, especially such which have given 
the names unto the ostiaries thereof, not unto all, for they 
are eleven, 7 and four besides, but unto seven and most con- 
siderable, that is, Canopicum, Bolbitinum, Selenneticum, 
Sebenneticum, 8 Pharniticum, Mendesium, Taniticum, and 
Pelusium, wherein to make up the number, one of the arti- 
ficial channels of Herodotus is accounted. Ptolemy, an 
Egyptian, and born at the Pelusian mouth of Nile, in his 
geography maketh nine, 9 and in the third map of Africa, 
hath unto their mouths prefixed their several names, Hera- 
cleoticum, Bolbitinum, Sebenneticum, Pineptum, Diolcos, 
Pathmeticum, Mendesium, Taniticum, Peleusiacum, wherein 
notwithstanding there are no less than three different names 

4 and though.'] Yet after Aristotel anchors digd up, but is now rich land, 

740 yeares, about the yeare of Christ, 20 miles lower. — Wr. 
410, itt became soe fordable that the 6 but carelessly , #c] Yet r these are 

Huns and Vandals (observing a hinde to now the principal branches remaining, 
goe usually through itt to the pastures in ' eleven.] Thirteen in all by Strabo, 

Natolia) came in such swarms over the yet Honterus reckons 17.— Wr. 
same way, that at last they overrann all 8 Sebenneticum.'] Is aunciently divided 

Europe also.— Wr, into Saiticum and Mendesium.— Wr. 

8 Gihon.] The river which rann by 9 nine.] Of note, the rest smaller 

Verulam was once navigable up to the branches, and soe not considerable, and 
wals thereof, as appears by story, and therefore omitted. — Wr. 


from those delivered by Pliny. All which considered," we 
may easily discern that authors accord not either in name or 
number, and must needs confirm the judgment of Maginus, 
de Ostiorum Nili numero et nominibus, valde antiqui scrip- 
tores discordant. 

Modern geographers 1 and travellers do much abate of 
this number, for as Maginus and others observe, there are 
now but three or four mouths thereof; as Gulielmus Tyrius 
long ago, and Bellonius since, both ocular enquirers, with 
others have attested. For below Cairo, the river divides 
itself into four branches, whereof two make the chief and 
navigable streams, the one running to Pelusium of the ancients, 
and now Damietta ; 2 the other unto Canopium, and now 
Rosetta ; 3 the other two, saith Mr. Sandys, do run between 
these, but poor in water. Of those seven mentioned by 
Herodotus, and those nine by Ptolemy, these are all I could 
either see or hear of. Which much confirmeth the testimony 
of the Bishop of Tyre, a diligent and ocular enquirer, who in 
his Holy War doth thus deliver himself: "We wonder much 
at the ancients, who assigned seven mouths unto Nilus, which 
we can no otherwise salve than that by process of time, the 
face of places is altered, and the river hath lost his channels, 
or that our forefathers did never obtain a true account 
thereof. 4 

And therefore, when it is said in Holy Scripture, "The 
Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea, 
and with his mighty wind he shall shake his hand over the 
river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men 
go over dry shod,"* if this expression concerneth the river 
Nilus, it must only respect the seven principal streams. But 
the place is very obscure, and whether thereby be not meant 
the river Euphrates, is not without some controversy ; as is 
collectible from the subsequent words ; " And there shall be 

* Isa. ii, 15, 16. 

1 geographers. ] But Honterus, in his of Herodotus. 

geographical map of yEgypt, sets downe 3 now Rosetta.] The Bolbitine branch 

17, distinct in situation and name, and of Herodotus. 

hee wrote not soe long agoe, that they 4 Which much covfirmelh, c^c.] This 

should since bee varyed. — If'r. sentence and the following paragraph 

2 now Damietta ] This is the Bucolic were first added in the 2nd edition. 


an high way for the remnant of his people, that shall be left 
from Assyria ;" and also from the bare name river, emphati- 
cally signifying Euphrates, and thereby the division of the 
Assyrian empire into many fractions, which might facilitate 
their return ; as Grotius * hath observed, and is more plainly 
made out, if the f Apocrypha of Esdras, and that of the J 
Apocalypse have any relation hereto. 5 

Lastly, whatever was or is their number, the contrivers of 
cards and maps afford us no assurance or constant description 
therein. For whereas Ptolemy hath set forth nine, Hondius 
in his map of Africa, makes but eight, and in that of Europe 
ten; Ortelius, in the map of the Turkish empire, setteth 
down eight, in that of Egypt eleven, and Maginus, in his 
map of that country, hath observed the same number. And 
if we enquire farther, we shall find the same diversity and 
discord in divers others. 

Thus may we perceive that this account was differently 
related by the ancients, that it is undeniably rejected by the 
moderns, and must be warily received by any. For if we 
receive them all into account, they were more than seven ; if 
only the natural sluices they were fewer, and however we 
receive them, there is no agreeable and constant description 
thereof; and therefore how reasonable it is to draw continual 
and durable deductions from alterable and uncertain founda- 
tions ; let them consider who make the gates of Thebes, and 
the mouths of this river a constant and continued periphrasis 
for this number, 6 and in their poetical expressions do give 
the river that epithet unto this number. 

* Gr. Not. in Isaiam. \ 2 Esdr. xiii, 43, 47. J Apoc. xvi, 12. 

5 And therefore, fyc.~\ Bishop Lowth river, that he threatened to reduce it 

considers this passage as conveying an and make it so shallow that it should be 

allusion to the passage of the Red Sea. easily fordable, even by women, who 

But he cites a story told by " Herodotus, should not be up to their knees in passing 

(i, 1S9) of his Cyrus, that may somewhat it. Accordingly he set his whole army 

illustrate this passage; in which it is said to work, and cutting 360 trenches from 

that God would inflict a kind of punish- both sides of the river, turned the waters 

ment and judgment on the Euphrates, into them, and drained them off." 
and render it formidable by dividing it 6 number.] Why should wee call the 

into seven streams. Cyrus, being im- ancients to accompt for that which, tho' 

peded in his march to Babylon by the then true, is now altered after 2000 yeares. 

Gyudes, a deep and rapid river, which Let us rather hence collect the mutability 

falls into the Tygris, and having lost one of all things under the moone. — JVr. 
of his sacred white horses that attempted In the first edition the following words 

to pass it, was so enraged against the are added to this paragraph, but have 


The same river is also accounted the greatest of the earth, 
called therefore Fluviorum pater, and totius Orbis maxwius, 
by Ortelius. If this be true, many maps must be corrected, 
or the relations of divers good authors renounced. 

For first, in the delineations of many maps of Africa, the 
river Niger exceedeth it about ten degrees in length, that is, no 
less than six hundred miles. For arising beyond the equator 
it maketh northward almost 15 degrees, and deflecting after 
westward, without meanders, continueth a straight course 
about 40 degrees, and at length with many great currents 
disburdeneth itself into the occidental ocean. Again, if we 
credit the descriptions of good authors, other rivers excel it 
in length, or breadth, or both. Arrianus, in his history of 
Alexander, assigneth the first place unto the river Ganges ; 
which truly according unto later relations, if not in length, 
yet in breadth and depth, may be granted to excel it. For 
the magnitude of Nilus consisteth in the dimension of longi- 
tude, and is inconsiderable in the other ; what stream it 
maintaineth beyond Syene or Esna, and so forward unto its 
original, relations are very imperfect ; but below these places, 
and further removed from the head, the current is but 
narrow; and we read, in the history of the Turks, the 
Tartar horsemen of Selimus swam over the Nile from Cairo 
to meet the forces of Tonumbeus. Baptista Scortia,* ex- 
pressly treating hereof, preferreth the river of Plate in 
America, for that, as Maffeus hath delivered, falleth into the 
ocean in the latitude of forty leagues, and with that force 
and plenty, that men at sea do taste fresh water before they 
approach so near as to discover the land. So is it exceeded 
by that which by Cardan is termed the greatest in the world, 
that is the river Oregliana in the same continent ; which, as 
Maginus delivereth, hath been navigated 6000 miles, and 
opens in a channels of ninety leagues broad, so that, as 
Acosta, an ocular witness, recordeth, they that sail in the 
middle can make no land on either side. 7 

* De naturd el increviento NHL 

been omitted in all the subsequent edi- 7 side.'] Oregliana river is C000 miles 

tions: — "conceiving a perpetuity in mu- longe, 270 miles broad at the mouth. — 

lability upon unstable foundations erecting U'r. 
eternal assertions." 


Now the ground of this assertion was surely the magnifying 
esteem of the ancients, arising from the indiscovery of its 
head. 8 For as things unknown seem greater than they are, 
and are usually received with amplifications above their 
nature ; so might it also be with this river, whose head being 
unknown and drawn to a proverbial obscurity, the opinion 
thereof became without bounds, and men must needs conceit 
a large extent of that to which the discovery of no man had 
set a period. And this is an usual way, to give the superlative 9 
unto things of eminency in any kind, and when a thing is very 
great, presently to define it to be the greatest of all. Whereas 
indeed superlatives are difficult ; whereof there being but one 
in every kind, their determinations are dangerous, and must 
not be made without great circumspection. So the city of 
Rome is magnified by the Latins to be the greatest of the 
earth ; but time and geography inform us that Cairo is bigger, 
and Quinsay, in China, far exceedeth both. So is Olympus 
extolled by the Greeks, as an hill attaining unto heaven, but 
the enlarged geography of after times make slight account 
hereof, when they discourse of Andes in Peru, or Teneriffe 
in the Canaries. 1 And we understand, by a person who hath 
lately had a fair opportunity to behold the magnified mount 
Olmypus, that it is exceeded by some peaks of the Alps. So 
have all ages conceived, and most are still ready to swear, the 
wren is the last of birds ; yet the discoveries of America, and 
even of our own plantations have shewed us one far less, that 
is, the humbird, not much exceeding a beetle. And truly, 

8 head.] Maximus Tyrius, tutor to the best, hee will say the Academick. 
Aurel. Antonin. emperor, taxeth the Soe askeof the Peripatetick, the Cynicke, 
vai?ie solicitude of Alexander to discover the Pythagorian, the Platonick, and the 
the head of the Nile, and enquired rather Pyrronian or sceptick, which of all is the 
si a Deo bona omnia, unde mala fluunt,S$c. best, each of these will magnifie and 
— Wr. advance his owne as the prime, but next 

9 superlative.] A Noble Lord was wont his owne the Academicke. Therefore 
to say the best trowts are in as many hee concludes, and that most invinciblye, 
places of England, as afford any trowtes, that which by the confession of all inte- 
for every place magnifies theire owne. rests in several! is the second, is in every 
Hence Tullye wittily drew an argument truthe the fiiste : for what each speakes of 
from the mouths of all the philosophers his owne is partiall, but whatt allconfesse 
against themselves, that the secte of the to be the second best after their owne, is 
Academicks (whereof he was one) was by all confession the very prime of all. — 
the best. For, saythe hee, aske the Wr. 

Stoickes which is the best, and he will ' Canaries."] Pico, in the Azores, 3 

say the Stoick. But then aske which is miles highe like a sugar loafe. — Wr. 


for the least and greatest, the highest and the lowest of every 
kind, as it is very difficult to define them in visible things, so 
is it to understand in things invisible. Thus is it no easy 
lesson to comprehend the first matter, and the affections of 
that which is next neighbour unto nothing, but impossible 
truly to comprehend God, who indeed is all in all. For 
things, as they arise into perfection, and approach unto God, 
or descend to imperfection, and draw nearer unto nothing, 
fall both imperfectly into our apprehensions, the one being 
too weak for our conceptions, our conceptions too weak for 
the other. 

Thirdly, divers conceptions there are concerning its incre- 
ment or inundation. The first unwarily opinions, that this 
increase or annual overflowing is proper unto Nile, and not 
agreeable unto any other river, which notwithstanding is 
common unto many currents of Africa. For about the same 
time the river Niger and Zaire do overflow, and so do the 
rivers beyond the mountains of the moon, as Suama and 
Spirito Santo. And not only these in Africa, but some also 
in Europe and Asia ; 2 for so is it reported of Menan in India, 
and so doth Botero report of Duina in Livonia, and the same 
is also observable in the river Jordan, in Judea, for so is it 
delivered that " Jordan overfloweth all his banks in the 
time of harvest." * 3 

The effect indeed is wonderful in all, and the causes surely 
best resolvable from observations made in the countries 
themselves, the parts through which they pass, or whence 

* Josh. iii. 

2 some in Europe and Asia.~\ And in sunk, were all exposed again, and there 

America, where the Rio de la Plata is was found, among others, an English 

flooded at certain periods, and like the vessel, which had perished in 1762. 

Nile inundates and fertilizes the country. Many people descended into this bed, 

The Indians then leave their huts, and visited and spoiled the vessels thus laid 

betake themselves to their canoes, in dry, and returned with their pockets 

which they float about, until the waters filled with silver and other precious arti- 

have retired. In the month of April, in cles, which had been buried more than 

1793, it happened that a current of thirty years in the deep. This pheno- 

wind, of an extraordinary nature and menon, which may be regarded as one 

violence, heaped up the immense mass of the greatest convulsions of nature, 

of water of this river to a distance of ten lasted three days, at the expiration of 

leagues, so that the whole country was which the wind abated, and the waters 

submersed, and the bed of the river re- returned with fury into their natural 

mained dry in such a manner, that it bed. — Bulletin Universal. 

might be walked over with dry feet. 3 harvest.] Maio ineunte. 
The vessels which had foundered and 


they take their original. That of Nilus hath been attempted 
by many, and by some to that despair of resolution, that they 
have only referred it unto the providence of God, and his 
secret manuduction of all things unto their ends. But divers 
have attained the truth, and the cause alleged by Diodorus, 
Seneca, Strabo, and others, is allowable ; that the inundation 
of Nilus in Egypt proceeded from the rains in Ethiopia, 
and the mighty source of waters falling towards the fountains 
thereof. For this inundation unto the Egyptians happeneth 
when it is winter unto the Ethiopians, which habitations, 
although they have no cold winter, the sun being no further 
removed from them in Cancer than unto us in Taurus, yet is 
the fervour of the air so well remitted, as it admits a sufficient 
generation of vapours, and plenty of showers ensuing there- 
upon. 4 This theory of the ancients is since confirmed by 
experience of the moderns ; by Franciscus Alvarez, who 
lived long in those parts, and left a description of Ethiopia, 
affirming that from the middle of June unto September, there 
fell in this time continual rains. As also Antonius Ferdi- 
nandus who in an epistle written from thence, and noted by 
Codignus, affirmeth that during the winter, in those countries, 
there passed no day without rain. 

Now this is also usual, to translate a remarkable quality 
into a propriety, and where we admire an effect in one, to 
opinion there is not the like in any other. With these con- 
ceits do common apprehensions entertain the antidotal and 
wondrous condition of Ireland, conceiving only in that land 
an immunity from venomous creatures ; 5 but unto him that 
shall further enquire, the same will be affirmed of Creta, me- 
morable in ancient stories, even unto fabulous causes, and 
benediction from the birth of Jupiter. The same is also 
found in Ebusus or Evisa, an island near Majorca upon the 

4 thereupon.'] This observation is degrees, or 1C20 miles at least. And 

worthye of notinge, yf you understand this rayne, which fell in his courte from 

itt of that ^Ethiopia, which borders on June to September overthrows the former 

the springs of Nilus, supposed generally instance of the winter raines at the moun- 

to flow out of the mountains of the moon, tains of the moon, although that bee the 

that is, 15 degrees beyond the aequinoc- only and the true cause of the rising of 

tiall. Whereas Prester John's courte, of Nilus. — Wr. 

residence wherein Alvarez lived, is 12 5 Ireland.] See note at p. 240. 
degrees on this side the line, i, e. 27 


coast of Spain. With these, apprehensions do the eyes of 
neighbour spectators behold Etna, the flaming mountain in 
Sicilia ; but navigators tell us there is a burning mountain 6 in 
Iceland, a more remarkable one in Teneriffe of the Canaries, 
and many volcanoes or fiery hills elsewhere. Thus crocodiles 
were thought to be peculiar unto Nile, and the opinion so 
possessed Alexander, that when he had discovered some in 
Ganges, he fell upon a conceit he had found the head of 
Nilus ; but later discoveries affirm they are not only in Asia 
and Africa, but very frequent in some rivers of America. 

Another opinion 7 confineth its inundation, and positively 
affirmeth, it constantly increaseth the seventeenth day of 
June ; wherein perhaps a larger form of speech were safer, 
than that which punctually prefixeth a constant day thereto. 
For this expression is different from that of the ancients, as 
Herodotus, Diodorus, Seneca, &c. delivering only that it hap- 
peneth about the entrance of the sun into Cancer ; wherein 
they warily deliver themselves, and reserve a reasonable 
latitude. 8 So, when Hippocrates saith, Sub Cane et ante 
Canem difficiles sunt purgationes, there is a latitude of days 
comprised therein ; for under the dog-star he containeth not 
only the day of his ascent, but many following, and some ten 
days preceeding. So Aristotle delivers the affections of 
animals, with the very terms of circa, et magna ex parte ; 
and, when Theodoras translateth that part of his " coeunt 
thunni et scombri mense Februario post Idus, pariunt Junio 
ante Nonas" Scaliger for "ante Nonas" renders it " Junii 
initio" because that exposition affordeth the latitude of divers 
days. For affirming it happeneth before the Nones, he al- 
loweth but one day, that is, the Calends ; for in the Roman 
account, the second day is the fourth of the Nones of June. 9 

Again, were the day definitive, it had prevented the de- 
lusion of the devil, nor could he have gained applause by its 
prediction ; who notwithstanding, (as Athanasius in the life 

6 burning mountain.'] Called Hecla. about hath a large latitude : for at the 

7 Another.] Lord Bacon, Natural sumer solstice, or his coming to Cancer, 
History, Experiment 743. hee does little varye his declination for 

8 latitude.] This is all one with the almost a month's space. — Wr. 
former, for in their times the then 9 June.] Reckoning the nones as 
entered 25 or rather soner soe that this they doc the calends a retro. — Wr. 


of Anthony relateth,) to magnify his knowledge in things to 
come, when he perceived the rains to fall in Ethiopia, would 
presage unto the Egyptians the day of its inundation. And 
this would also make useless that natural experiment ob- 
served in earth or sand about the river ; by the weight where- 
of (as good authors report) they have unto this day a 
knowledge of its increase. 1 

Lastly, it is not reasonable from variable and unstable 
causes to derive a fixed and constant effect, and such are the 
causes of this inundation, which cannot indeed be regular, 
and therefore their effects not prognosticate, like eclipses. 
For, depending upon the clouds and descent of showers in 
Ethiopia, which have their generation from vaporous exha- 
lations, they must submit their existence unto contingencies, 
and endui'e anticipation and recession from the moveable 
condition of their causes. And therefore some years there 
hath been no increase at all, as some conceive in the years 
of famine under Pharaoh ; as Seneca and divers relate of the 
eleventh year of Cleopatra ; nor nine years together, as is 
testified by Calisthenes. Some years it hath also retarded, 
and come far later than usually it was expected, as according 
to Sozomen and Nicephorus it happened in the days of The- 
odosius ; whereat the people were ready to mutiny, because 
they might not sacrifice unto the river, according to the cus- 
tom of their predecessors. 

Now this is also an usual way of mistake, and many are 
deceived who too strictly construe the temporal considerations 
of things. The books will tell us, and we are made to believe, 
that the fourteenth year males are seminifical and pubescent; 

1 increase.] They have now a more waters should defer the seed-time to 

certain way, for all the ancients agree longe ; which usually begins in 9ber, and 

that Nilus begins to flow about the begin- the harvest is in Maye. But of this you 

ning of July, (the sonn going out of may read at large in Plinye's Natural 

Cancer into Leo) and about the end of Historye, lib. v, cap. 9, and lib. xviii, 

September returnes within his bankes cap. 18. But most excellently in Sene- 

againe. From the first rise to his wonted ca's iv, lib. of natural qua^stions, which is 

level are commonly 100 days : the just worthe the reading. Itt seems that in 

hight is 16 cubits. In 12 cubits they the 7 yeares of famine wherof Joseph 

are sure of a famine, in 13 of scarcitye (instructed by God) prophesyed, there 

and dearthe, 14 cubits makes themmerye, had noe rain fain in ^Ethiopia, and that 

15, secure, and 16, triumphe, beyonde this therefore Nilus had not overflowed 

(which is rare) they looke sad agen, not for Wr. 
feare of want, but least the slow fall of the 


but he that shall enquire into the generality, will rather ad- 
here unto the cautelous assertion of Aristotle, that is, bis 
septem annis exactis, and then but magna ex parte. That 
whelps are blind nine days, and then begin to see, is generally 
believed ; but as we have elsewhere 2 declared, it is exceeding 
rare, nor do their eyelids usually open until the twelfth, and 
sometimes not before the fourteenth day. And to speak 
strictly, an hazardable determination it is, unto fluctuating 
and indifferent effects to affix a positive type or period. For 
in effects of far more regular causalities, difficulties do often 
arise, and even in time itself, which measureth all things, we 
use allowance in its commensuration. Thus while we con- 
ceive we have the account of a year in 365 days, exact 
enquirers and computists will tell us, that we escape six 
hours, 3 that is a quarter of a day. And so in a day, which 
every one accounts twenty-four hours, or one revolution of 
the sun ; in strict account we must allow the addition of such 
a part as the sun doth make in his proper motion, from west 
to east, whereby in one day he describeth not a perfect 

Fourthly, it is affirmed by many, and received by most, 
that it never raineth in Egypt, the river supplying that defect, 
and bountifully requiting it in its inundation : but this must 
also be received in a qualified sense, that is, that it rains but 
seldom at any time in the summer, and very rarely in the winter. 
But that great showers do sometimes fall upon that region, 
beside the assertion of many writers, we can confirm from 
honourable and ocular testimony,"* and that not many years 
past it rained in grand Cairo divers days together. 

The same is also attested concerning other parts of Egypt, 
by Prosper Alpinus, who lived long in that country, and hath 
left an accurate treatise of the medical practice thereof. 
Cayri raro decidunt pluvice ; Alexandria, Pelusiiqite et in 

* Sir William Paston, Baronet. 

2 elsewhere.'] Vol. ii, p. 523. cisely : so that in 300 yeaies to come 

3 escape 6 houres.~\ Lege overreckon the retrocession of the aequinoxes in the 
every common yeare 10' 44" according Julian kalendar (for in heaven they are 
to Alphonsus, and every 4th yeare, 42' fixed) cannot bee above one day: soe 
56". But Tycho by long and exact ob- that the kalendar reformed would re- 
servation sayes the retrocession made by maine to all times. — Mr. 

this overreckoninge is now but 41', pre- 


omnibus locis mart adjacentibus, plait largissime et scepe ; 
that is, it raineth seldom at Cairo, but at Alexandria, Damietta, 
and places near the sea, it raineth plentifully and often. 
Whereto we might add the latter testimony of learned Mr. 
Greaves, in his accurate description of the Pyramids. 4, 

Beside, men hereby forget the relation of Holy Scripture. 
" Behold I will cause it to rain a very great hail, 5 such as 
hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof, even 
until now."* Wherein God threatening such a rain as had 
not happened, it must be presumed they had been acquainted 
with some before, and were not ignorant of the substance, 
the menace being made in the circumstance. The same con- 
cerning hail is inferrible from Prosper Alpinus, Rarissime 
nix, grando, it seldom snoweth or haileth : whereby we must 
concede that snow and hail do sometimes fall, because they 
happen seldom. 6 

Now this mistake ariseth from a misapplication of the 
bounds or limits of time, and an undue transition from one 
unto another; which to avoid, we must observe the punctual 
differences of time, and so distinguish thereof, as not to con- 
found or lose the one in the other. For things may come to 
pass, semper, plerumque, scepe; aut nunquam, aliquando, 
raro ; that is always, or never, for the most part, or some- 
times, oft-times, or seldom. Now the deception is usual 
which is made by the mis-application of these ; men presently 
concluding that to happen often, which happeneth but some- 
times : that never, which happeneth but seldom ; and that 
always, which happeneth for the most part. So is it said, the 
sun shines every day in Rhodes, because for the most part it 
faileth not. So we say and believe that a chameleon never 
eateth, but liveth only upon air ; whereas indeed it is seen to 
eat very seldom, but many there are who have beheld it to 
feed on flies. And so it is said, that children born in the 

* Exod. ix. 

4 The same is also, <$-c] First added yf the lower ayre bee colder then that 
in 2nd edition. from whence it fals.— Wr. 

5 rain — hail.~\ Haile is raine as itt 6 The same concerning hail, #e.] First 
fals first out of the clowde, but freeses added in 2nd edition. 

as itt fals, and turnes into haile-stones, 



eighth month live not, that is, for the most part, but not to 
be concluded always: nor it seems in former ages in all 
places, for it is otherwise recorded by Aristotle concerning 
the births of Egypt. 

Lastly, it is commonly conceived that divers princes have 
attempted to cut the isthmus or tract of land which parteth 
the Arabian and Mediterranean Seas. But upon enquiry I 
find some difficulty concerning the place attempted; many 
with good authority affirming, that the intent was not imme- 
diately to unite these seas, but to make a navigable channel 
between the Red Sea and the Nile, the marks whereof are 
extant to this day. It was first attempted by Sesostris, after 
by Darius, and in a fear to drown the country, deserted by 
them both, but was long after re-attempted and in some 
manner effected by Philadelphus. And so the Grand Signior, 
who is lord of the country, conveyeth his gallies into the 
Red Sea by the Nile ; for he bringeth them down to Grand 
Cairo, where they are taken in pieces, carried upon camels' 
backs, and rejoined together at Suez, his port and naval 
station for the sea ; whereby in effect he acts the design of 
Cleopatra, who after the battle of Actium in a different way 
would have conveyed her gallies into the Red Sea. 

And therefore that proverb to cut an isthmus, that is, to 
take great pains, and effect nothing, alludeth not unto this 
attempt, but is by Erasmus applied unto several other ; as 
that undertaking of the Cnidians to cut their isthmus, but 
especially that of Corinth so unsuccessfully attempted by 
many Emperors. The Cnidians were deterred by the peremp- 
tory dissuasion of Apollo, plainly commanding them to desist, 
for if God had thought it fit, he would have made that 
country an island at first. But this perhaps will not be 
thought a reasonable discouragement unto the activity of 
those spirits which endeavour to advantage nature by art, 
and upon good grounds to promote any part of the universe ; 
nor will the ill success of some be made a sufficient determent 
unto others, who know that many learned men affirm, that 
islands were not from the beginning, that many have been 

* Isa. xi, 15. 




made since by art, that some isthmuses have been eat through 
by the sea, and others cut by the spade. And if policy would 
permit, that of Panama, in America, were most worthy the 
attempt,, it being but few miles over, and would open a shorter 
cut unto the East Indies and China. 5 


Of the Red Sea. 

Contrary apprehensions are made of the Erythraean or 
Red Sea, most apprehending a material redness therein, from 
whence they derive its common denomination ; and some so 
lightly conceiving hereof, as if it had no redness at all, are 
fain to recur unto other originals of its appellation. Wherein 
to deliver a distinct account, we first observe that without 
consideration of colour it is named the Arabian Gulph. The 
Hebrews, who had best reason to remember it, do call it 
Zuph, or the weedy sea, 6 because it was full of sedge, or 

5 China.~\ Betweene Panama and the 
Nombre de Dios, which lyes on bothe 
sides that strip of lande, the Spaniards 
accompte about 40 miles at most ; but 
the Spaniard enjoying both those havens, 
and consequentlye having- the free trade 
of both seas without corrivalitye of other 
nations, (which yf that passage were open 
would not longe bee his alone,) will never 
endure such an attempt, and for that 
cause hath fortified bothe those havens 
soe stronglye that hee may enjoye this 
proprietye without controule. But itt 
withall supposes that to cutt through the 
ridge of mountainss which lies betweene 
those 2 havens is impossible, and would 
prove more unfecible then that of iEgypt, 
which yf itt might be compassed would 
be of more advantage to these 3 parts of 
the world than that of Panama, and 
nearer by 1000 leagues to us, the remo- 
test kingdome trading to the East lndyes. 
— Wr. 

This long projected intercourse with 
the East Indias seems — under the present 
enterprizing Pasha of Egypt, to be in a 
fair way of accomplishment. Letters 
thither having been actually sent off by 
the Mediterranean mail in the spring of 
1835. The Pasha has sent to M. Bru- 
nei requesting his assistance in carrying 
on the great work of improvement in the 
channel of the Nile ; and one of our 
British engineers, Mr. Galloway, who has 
the conduct of a railway constructing be- 
tween Cairo and Suez, has been created 
a Bey of Egypt. 

6 the weedy sea.~\ Bruce however says 
that he never saw a weed in it: and at- 
tributes this name to the plants of coral 
with which it abounds. 

" Heb. xi, 29, commonly called the Red 
Sea. But this is a vulgar error, and the 
appellation rather arose from its proper 
name Mare Erythrceum, which (the com- 
mentators say) was derived from king 

S 2 


they found it so in their passage. The Mahometans, who 
are now lords thereof, do know it by no other name than 
the Gulph of Mecca, a city of Arabia. 

The stream of antiquity deriveth its name from King 
Erythrus, so slightly conceiving of the nominal deduction 
from redness, that they plainly deny there is any such accident 
in it. The words of Curtius are plainly beyond evasion, Ab 
Erythro rege inditum est nomen, propter quod ignari rubere 
aquas credunt. Of no more obscurity are the words of 
Philostratus, and of later times, Sabellicus; Stulte persuasion 
est vulgo rubras alicubi esse maris aquas, quin ab Erythro 
rege nomen pelago inditum. Of this opinion was Andreas 
Corsalius, Pliny, Solinus, Dio Cassius, who although they 
denied not all redness, yet did they rely upon the original 
from King Erythrus. 

Others have fallen upon the like, or perhaps the same 
conceit under another appellation, deducing its name not from 
King Erythrus, but Esau or Edom, whose habitation was 
upon the coasts thereof.* Now Edom is as much as Erythrus, 
and the Red Sea no more than the Idumean, from whence 
the posterity of Edom removing towards the Mediterranean 
coast, according to their former nomination by the Greeks, 
were called Phoenicians or red men, and from a plantation 
and colony of theirs, an island near Spain was by the Greek 
describers termed Erythra, as is declared by Strabo and 

Very many, omitting the nominal derivation, do rest in the 
gross and literal conception thereof, apprehending a real 
redness and constant colour of parts. Of which opinion are 
also they which hold, the sea receiveth a red and minious 
tincture from springs, wells, and currents that fall into it ; 
and of the same belief are probably many Christians, who 
conceiving the passage of the Israelites through the sea to 

* More exactly hereof Bochartus and Mr. Dickinson. 

Erythrus, undoubtedly the same with Huruen), testify it to be. But whether 

Esau and Edom, who was a red man — these weeds give a colour to it, so as to 

so Grotius and others. It is called by originate the name Red Sea, is, I think, 

Moses, at Exod. xv, 22, fy\^ \J\ the very doubtful." — Bloomfield Rccensio Sy- 

weedy sea, and such the accounts of mo- tiopfira, in he. 
dern tourists, as Niebuhr and others (see 


have been the type of baptism, according to that of the 
apostle, " All were baptised unto Moses in the cloud, and in 
the sea," * for the better resemblance of the blood of Christ, 
they willingly received it in the apprehension of redness, and 
a colour agreeable unto its mystery ; according unto that of 
Austin, j- Significat mare Mud rabrum baptismum Christi, 
unde nobis baptisnius Christi, nisi sanguine Christi conse- 
cratus ? 

But divers moderns not considering these conceptions, and 
appealing unto the testimony of sense, have at last determined 
the point, concluding a redness herein, but not in the sense 
received. Sir Walter Raleigh, from his own and Portugal ob- 
servations, doth place the redness of the sea in the reflection 
from red islands, and the redness of the earth at the bottom, 
wherein coral grows very plentifully, and from whence in 
great abundance it is transported into Europe. The observa- 
tions of Alberquerque, and Stephanus de Gama, (as, from 
Johannes de Bairros, Fernandius de Cordova relateth) derive 
this redness from the colour of the sand and argillous earth 
at the bottom, for being a shallow sea, while it rolleth to and 
fro, there appeareth redness upon the water, which is most 
discernible in sunny and windy weather. But that this is no 
more than a seeming redness, he confirmeth by an experiment ; 
for in the reddest part taking up a vessel of water, it differed 
not from the complexion of other seas. Nor is this colour 
discoverable in every place of that sea, for as he also observed, 
in some places it is very green, in others white and yellow, 
according to the colour of the earth or sand at the bottom. 
And so may Philostratus be made out, when he saith, this 
sea is blue ; or Bellonius denying this redness, because he 
beheld not that colour about Suez ; or when Corsalius at the 
mouth thereof could not discover the same. 

Now although we have enquired the ground of redness in 
this sea, yet are we not fully satisfied. For (what is forgot 
by many, and known by few) there is another Red Sea, whose 
name we pretend not to make out from these principles, that 
is, the Persian Gulph or Bay, which divideth the Arabian 

* 1 Cor. x, 2. f Aug. in Johannem, 


and Persian shore, as Pliny hath described it, Mare rubrum 
in duos dividitur sinus, is qui ab Oriente est, Persicus appel- 
latur ; or as Solinus expresseth it, Qui ab Oriente est, 
Percicus appellatur, ex adverso unde Arabia est, Arabicus ; 
whereto assenteth Suidas, Ortelius, and many more. And 
therefore there is no absurdity in Strabo, when he delivereth 
that Tigris and Euphrates do fall into the Red Sea, and 
Fernandius de Cordova justly defendeth his countryman 
Seneca in that expression : 

Et qui renatum prorsus excipiens diem 
Tepidum Rubenti Tigrin immiscet freto. 

Nor hath only the Persian Sea received the same name 
with the Arabian, but what is strange and much confounds 
the distinction, the name thereof is also derived from King 
Erythrus, who was conceived to be buried in an island of 
this sea, as Dionysius, Afer, Curtius, and Suidas do deliver. 
Which were of no less probability than the other, if (as with 
the same authors Strabo affirmeth), he was buried near Cara- 
mania, bordering upon the Persian Gulph. And if his tomb 
was seen by Nearchus, it was not so likely to be in the Arabian 
Gulph ; for we read that from the river Indus he came unto 
Alexander, at Babylon, some few days before his death. 
Now Babylon was seated upon the river Euphrates, which 
runs into the Persian Gulph ; and therefore however the 
Latin expresseth it in Strabo, that Nearchus suffered much 
in the Arabian Sinus, yet is the original xoXrrog :rs^er/.og, that is, 
the Gulph of Persia. 

That therefore the Red Sea, or Arabian Gulph, received 
its name from personal derivation, though probable is but 
uncertain ; that both the seas of one name should have one 
common denominator, less probable ; that there is a gross 
and material redness in either, not to be affirmed ; that there 
is an emphatical or appearing redness in one, not well to be 
denied. And this is sufficient to make good the allegory of 
the Christians, and in this distinction may we justify the name 
of the Black Sea, given unto Pontus Euxinus, the name of 
Xanthus, or the yellow river of Phrygia, and the name of 
Mar Vermeio, or the Red Sea in America. 



Of the Blackness of Negroes. 

It it evident, not only in the general frame of nature, that 
things most manifest unto sense, have proved obscure unto 
the understanding; but even in proper and appropriate ob- 
jects, wherein we affirm the sense cannot err, the faculties of 
reason most often fail us. Thus of colours in general, under 
whose gloss and varnish all things are seen, few or none have 
yet beheld the true nature, or positively set down their incon- 
trollable causes. Which while some ascribe unto the mixture 
of the elements, others to the graduality of opacity and light, 
they have left our endeavours to grope them out by twilight, 
and by darkness almost to discover that whose existence is 
evidenced by light. The chemists have laudably reduced 
their causes unto sal, sulphur, and mercury, and had they 
made it out so well in this, as in the objects of smell and taste, 
their endeavours had been more acceptable : for whereas they 
refer sapor unto salt, and odor unto sulphur, they vary much 
concerning colour ; some reducing it unto mercury ; some to 
sulphur ; others unto salt. Wherein indeed the last conceit 
doth not oppress the former ; and though sulphur seem to 
carry the master-stroke, yet salt may have a strong co-opera- 
tion. For beside the fixed and terrestrious salt, there is in 
natural bodies a sal nitre referring unto sulphur ; there is 
also a volatile or armoniack salt retaining unto mercury ; by 
which salts the colours of bodies are sensibly qualified, ana 
receive degrees of lustre or obscurity, superficiality or pro- 
fundity, fixation or volatility. 

Their general or first natures being thus obscure, there 
will be greater difficulties in their particular discoveries ; for 
being farther removed from their simplicities, they fall into 
more complexed considerations ; and so require a subtiler act 


of reason to distinguish and call forth their natures. Thus 
although a man understood the general nature of colours, yet 
were it no easy problem to resolve, why grass is green ? Why 
garlic, molyes and porrets have white roots, deep green leaves, 
and black seeds ? Why several docks and sorts of rhubarb 
with yellow roots, send forth purple flowers ? Why also from 
lactory or milky plants, which have a white and lacteous juice 
dispersed through every part, there arise flowers blue and 
yellow? moreover, beside the special and first digressions or- 
dained from the creation, which might be urged to salve the 
variety in every species, why shall the marvel of Peru pro- 
duce its flowers of different colours, and that not once, or 
constantly, but every day, and variously ? Why tulips of one 
colour produce some of another, and running through almost 
all, should still escape a blue V And lastly, why some men, yea 
and they a mighty and considerable part of mankind, should 
first acquire and still retain the gloss and tincture of black- 
ness ? Which whoever strictly enquires, shall find no less of 
darkness in the cause, than in the effect itself; there arising 
unto examination no such satisfactory and unquarrellable rea- 
sons, as may confirm the causes generally received, which are 
but two in number ; — the heat and scorch of the sun, or the 
curse of God on Cham and his posterity. 

The first was generally received by the ancients, who in 
obscurities had no higher recourse than unto nature ; as may 
appear by a discourse concerning this point in Strabo: by 
Aristotle it seem to be implied, in those problems which en- 
quire, why the sun makes men black, and not the fire ? why 
it whitens wax, yet blacks the skin ? by the word Ethiops 
itself, applied to the memorablest nations of negroes, that is, of 
a burnt and torrid countenance. The fancy of the fable in- 
fers also the antiquity of the opinion ; which deriveth the 
complexion from the deviation of the sun : and the conflagra- 
tion of all things under Phaeton. But this opinion though 
generally embraced, was I perceive rejected by Aristobulus a 
very ancient geographer, as is discovered by Strabo. It hath 

7 should still escape a blue.'] Dr. Shaw lours but blue. The reason seems to be 
remarks, in his Panorama of Nature, the effects of salt water on that colour. — 
p. 619, that shells are of almost all co- Jeff. 


been doubted by several modern writers, particularly by 
Ortelius ; but amply and satisfactorily discussed as we know 
by no man. We shall therefore endeavour a full delivery 
hereof, declaring the grounds of doubt, and reasons of denial, 
which rightly understood, may, if not overthrow, yet shrewdly 
shake the security of this assertion. 

And first, many which countenance the opinion in this rea- 
son, do tacitly and upon consequence overthrow it in another. 
For whilst they make the river Senega to divide and bound the 
Moors, so that on the south side they are black, on the other 
only tawny, they imply a secret causality herein from the 
air, place or river ; and seem not to derive it from the sun, 
the effects of whose activity are not precipitously abrupted, 
but gradually proceed to their cessations. 

Secondly, if we affirm that this effect proceeded, or as we will 
not be backward to concede, it may be advanced and foment- 
ed from the fervour of the sun ; yet do we not hereby discover 
a principle sufficient to decide the question concerning other 
animals; nor doth he that affirmeth that heat makes man 
black, afford a reason why other animals in the same habita- 
tions maintain a constant and agreeable hue unto those in 
other parts, as lions, elephants, camels, swans, tigers, ostriches, 
which, though in Ethiopia, in the disadvantage of two sum- 
mers, and perpendicular rays of the sun, do yet make good 
the complexion of their species, and hold a colourable corres- 
pondence unto those in milder regions. Now did this com- 
plexion proceed from heat in man, the same would be com- 
municated unto other animals, which equally participate the 
influence of the common agent. For thus it is in the effects 
of cold, in regions far removed from the sun ; for therein men 
are not only of fair complexions, gray-eyed, and of light hair ; 
but many creatures exposed to the air, deflect in extremity 
from their natural colours ; from brown, russet and black, re- 
ceiving the complexion of winter, and turning perfect white. 
Thus Olaus Magnus relates, that after the autumnal equinox, 
foxes begin to grow white ; thus Michovius reporteth, and we 
want not ocular confirmation, that hares and partridges turn 
white in the winter; and thus a white crow, a proverbial 


rarity with us, is none unto them ; but that inseparable acci- 
dent of Porphyry is separated in many hundreds. 

Thirdly, if the fervour of the sun, or intemperate heat of 
clime did solely occasion this complexion, surely a migration 
or change thereof might cause a sensible, if not a total 
mutation ; which notwithstanding experience will not admit. 
For Negroes transplanted, although into cold and phlegma- 
tick habitations, continue their hue both in themselves, and 
also their generations, except they mix with different com- 
plexions ; whereby notwithstanding there only succeeds a re- 
mission of their tinctures, there remaining unto many descents 
a strong shadow of originals, and if they preserve their copu- 
lations entire, they still maintain their complexions. As is 
very remarkable in the dominions of the Grand Signior, 
and most observable in the Moors in Brasilia, which, trans- 
planted about an hundred years past, continue the tinctures 
of their fathers unto this day. And so likewise fair or white 
people translated into hotter countries receive not impressions 
amounting to this complexion, as hath been observed in many 
Europeans who have lived in the land of Negroes : and as 
Edvardus Lopez testifieth of the Spanish plantations, that 
they retained their native complexions unto his days. 

Fourthly, if the fervour of the sun were the sole cause 
hereof in Ethiopia or any land of Negroes, it were also rea- 
sonable that inhabitants of the same latitude, subjected unto 
the same vicinity of the sun, the same diurnal arch, and direc- 
tion of its rays, should also partake of the same hue and 
complexion, which notwithstanding they do not. For the in- 
habitants of the same latitude in Asia are of a different com- 
plexion, as are the inhabitants of Cambogia and Java ; inso- 
much that some conceive the Negro is properly a native of 
Africa, and that those places in Asia, inhabited now by 
Moors, are but the intrusions of Negroes, arriving first from 
Africa, as we generally conceive of Madagascar, and the 
adjoining islands, who retain the same complexion unto this 
day. But this defect is more remarkable in America ; which 
although subjected unto both the tropicks, yet are not the 
inhabitants black between, or near, or under either : neither 
to the southward in Brasilia, Chili, or Peru ; nor yet to the 


northward in Hispaniola, Castilia, del Oro, or Nicaragua. 
And although in many parts thereof there be at present 
swarms of Negroes serving under the Spaniard, yet were 
they all transported from Africa, since the discovery of Colum- 
bus ; and are not indigenous or proper natives of America. 

Fifthly, we cannot conclude this complexion in nations 
from the vicinity or habitude they hold unto the sun ; for 
even in Africa they be Negroes under the southern tropick, 
but are not all of this hue either under or near the northern. 
So the people of Gualata, Agades, Garamantes, and of 
Goaga, all within the northern tropicks, are not Negroes ; but 
on the other side Capo Negro, Cefala, and Madagascar, they 
are of a jetty black. 

Now if to salve this anomaly we say, the heat of the sun is 
more powerful in the southern tropick, because in the sign of 
Capricorn falls out the perigeum or lowest place of the sun 
in his eccentric, whereby he becomes nearer unto them than 
unto the other in Cancer, we shall not absolve the doubt. 
And if any insist upon such niceties, and will presume a dif- 
ferent effect of the sun, from such a difference of place or 
vicinity : we shall balance the same with the concernment of 
its motion, and time of revolution, and say he is more power- 
ful in the northern hemisphere, and in the apogeum: for 
therein his motion is slower, and so is his heat respectively 
unto those habitations, as of more duration, so also of more 
effect. For though he absolve his revolution in 365 days, 
odd hours and minutes, yet by reason of eccentricity, his mo- 
tion is unequal, and his course far longer in the northern semi- 
circle, than in the southern ; for the latter he passeth in 178 
days, but the other takes him 187, that is, nine days more. 
So is his presence more continued unto the northern inhabi- 
tants ; and the longest day in Cancer, is longer unto us than 
that in Capricorn unto the southern habitator. Beside, here- 
by we only infer an inequality of heat in different tropicks, 
but not an equality of effects in other parts subjected to the 
same. For in the same degree, and as near the earth he 
makes his revolution unto the American, whose inhabitants, 
notwithstanding, partake not of the same effect. And if 
herein we seek a relief from the dog-star, we shall introduce 


an effect proper unto a few, from a cause common unto many : 
for upon the same grounds that star should have as forcible a 
power upon America and Asia ; and although it be not ver- 
tical unto any part of Asia, but only passeth by Beach, in 
Terra Incognita; yet is it so unto America, and vertically 
passeth over the habitations of Peru and Brasilia. 

Sixthly, and which is very considerable, there are Negroes 
in Africa beyond the southern tropick, and some so far re- 
moved from it, as geographically the clime is not intemperate, 
that is, near the Cape of Good Hope, in 36 of the southern 
latitude. Whereas in the same elevation northward, the in- 
habitants of America are fair ; and they of Europe in Candy, 
Sicily, and some other parts of Spain, deserve not properly 
so low a name as tawny. 

Lastly, whereas the Africans are conceived to be more pe- 
culiarly scorched and torrified from the sun, by addition of 
dryness from the soil, from want and defect of water, it will 
not excuse the doubt. For the parts which the Negroes pos- 
sess, are not so void of rivers and moisture, as is presumed ; 
for on the other side the mountains of the moon, in that great 
tract called Zanzibar, there are the mighty rivers of Suama, 
and Spirito Santo ; on this side, the great river Zaire, the 
mighty Nile and Niger ; which do not only moisten and con- 
temperate the air by their exhalations, but refresh and hu- 
mectate the earth by their annual inundations. Beside in 
that part of Africa, which with all disadvantage is most dry, 
(that is, in situation between thetropicks, defect of rivers and 
inundations, as also abundance of sands,) the people are not 
esteemed Negroes ; and that is Libya, which with the Greeks 
carries the name of all Africa. A region so desert, dry and 
sandy, that travellers (as Leo reports) are fain to carry water 
on their camels ; whereof they find not a drop sometime in 
six or seven days. Yet is this country accounted by geogra- 
phers no part of Terra Nigritarum, and Ptolemy placeth 
therein the Leuco-AZthiopes, or pale and tawny Moors. 

Now the ground of this opinion might be the visible qua- 
lity of blackness observably produced by heat, fire and 
smoke ; but especially with the ancients the violent esteem 
they held of the heat of the sun, in the hot or torrid zone ; 


conceiving that part unhabitable, and therefore, that people 
in the vicinities, or frontier thereof, could not escape without 
this change of their complexions. But how far they were 
mistaken in this apprehension, modern geography hath dis- 
covered : and as we have declared, there are many within 
this zone whose complexions descend not so low as unto 
blackness. And if we should strictly insist hereon, the pos- 
sibility might fall into question ; that is, whether the heat of 
the sun, whose fervour may swart a living part, and even 
black a dead or dissolving flesh, can yet in animals, whose 
parts are successive and in continual flux, produce this deep 
and perfect gloss of blackness. 

Thus having evinced, at least made dubious, the sun is not 
the author of this blackness, how, and when this tincture 
first began is yet a riddle, and positively to determine it sur- 
passeth my presumption. Seeing therefore we cannot disco- 
ver what did effect it, it may afford some piece of satisfaction 
to know what might procure it. It may be therefore consi- 
dered, whether the inward use of certain waters or fountains 
of peculiar operations, might not at first produce the effect 
in question. For of the like we have records in Aristotle, 
Strabo, and Pliny, who hath made a collection hereof, as of 
two fountains in Boeotia, the one making sheep white, the 
other black ; of the water of Siberis which made oxen black, 
and the like effect it had also upon men, dying not only the 
skin, but making their hairs black and curled. This was the 
conceit of Aristobulus; who received so little satisfaction 
from the other, (or that it might be caused by heat, or any 
kind of fire,) that he conceived it as reasonable to impute the 
effect unto water. 

Secondly, it may be perpended whether it might not fall 
out the same way that Jacob's cattle became speckled, spot- 
ted and ring-straked, that is, by the power and efficacy of 
imagination ; which produce th effects in the conception cor- 
respondent unto the fancy of the agents in generation, and 
sometimes assimilates the idea of the generator into a reality 
in the thing engendered. For, hereof there pass for current 
many indisputed examples ; so in Hippocrates we read of 
one, that from an intent view of a picture conceived a Negro ; 


and in the history of Heliodore,* of a Moorish queen, who 
upon aspection of the picture of Andromeda, conceived and 
brought forth a fair one. And thus perhaps might some say 
was the beginning of this complexion, induced first by imagi- 
nation, which having once impregnated the seed, found after- 
ward concurrent co-operations, which were continued by 
climes, whose constitution advantaged the first impression. 
Thus Plotinus conceiveth white peacocks first came in. Thus 
many opinion that from aspection of the snow, which lieth 
along in nothern regions, and high mountains, hawks, kites, 
bears, and other creatures become white ; and by this way 
Austin conceiveth the devil provided, they never wanted a 
white-spotted ox in Egypt ; for such an one they worshipped, 
and called Apis. 

Thirdly, it is not indisputable whether it might not pro- 
ceed from such a cause and the like foundation of tincture, 
as doth the black jaundice, which meeting with congenerous 
causes might settle durable inquinations, and advance their 
generations unto that hue, which were naturally before but 
a degree or two below it. And this transmission we shall 
the easier admit in colour, if we remember the like hath been 
effected in organical parts and figures ; the symmetry where- 
of being casually or purposely perverted, their morbosities 
have vigorously descended to their posterities, and that in 
durable deformities. This was the beginning of Macroce- 
phali, or people with long heads, whereof Hippocrates* hath 
clearly delivered himself: Cum primum editus est Infans, 
caput ejus tenellum manibus ejfingunt, et in longitudine ado- 
lescere cogunt ; hoc institutum primum hujusmodi, natures 
dedit vitium, successu verb temporis in naturam abiit, ut 
proinde instituto nihil amplius opus esset ; semen enim gen- 
itale ex omnibus corporis partibus provenit, ex sanis quidem 
sanum, ex ??iorbosis morbosum. Si igitur ex calvis calvi, ex 
cccsiis cfssii, et ex distortis, ut plurimum, distorti gignuntur, 
eademque in cceteris formis valet ratio ; quid prohibet cur 
non ex macrocephalis macrocephali gignantur ? Thus as 

* Vide plura apud Tho. Fienum, de viribus imaginationis. 
f De Aerc, Aqids, ct Loch. 


Aristotle observeth, the deers of Arginusa had their ears 
divided ; occasioned at first by slitting the ears of deer. 
Thus have the Chinese little feet, most Negroes great lips and 
flat noses ; and thus many Spaniards, and Mediterranean 
inhabitants, which are of the race of Barbary Moors (although 
after frequent commixture), have not worn out the Camoys* 
nose unto this day. 

Artificial Negroes, or Gypsies, acquire their complexion by 
anointing their bodies with bacon and fat substances, and so 
exposing them to the sun. In Guinea Moors and others, it 
hath been observed, that they frequently moisten their skins 
with fat and oily materials, to temper the irksome dryness 
thereof from the parching rays of the sun. Whether this 
practice at first had not some efficacy toward this complexion, 
may also be considered. 8 

Lastly, if we still be urged to particularities, and such as 
declare how, and when the seed of Adam did first receive 
this tincture ; we may say that men became black in the same 
manner that some foxes, squirrels, lions, first turned of this 
complexion, whereof there are a constant sort in divers 
countries ; that some choughs came to have red legs and 
bills ; that crows became pied. 9 All which mutations, how- 
ever they began, depend on durable foundations ; and such 
as may continue for ever. And if as yet we must farther 
define the cause and manner of this mutation, we must con- 
fess, in matters of antiquity, and such as are decided by 
history, if their originals and first beginnings escape a due 
relation, they fall into great obscurities, and such as future 
ages seldom reduce unto a resolution. Thus if you deduct 
the administration of angels, and that they dispersed the 
creatures into all parts after the flood, as they had congre- 
gated them into Noah's ark before, it will be no easy ques- 
tion to resolve, how several sorts of animals were first 

* Flat Nose. 

8 Artificial Negroes, &;c.~] First added same species. The chough and the pied 
in the 3rd edition. crow, are distinct species The former 

9 some choughs, <^c] This, however, (corvus gracula), has always red legs 
is not a parallel case to the varieties ex- and bills ; the latter (corvus caryocatac- 
isting among different individuals of the tesj is always pied. 


dispersed into islands, and almost how any into America. 
How the venereal contagion began in that part of the earth, 
since history is silent, is not easily resolved by philosophy. 
For whereas it is imputed unto anthropophagy, or the eating 
man's flesh, that cause hath been common unto many other 
countries, and there have been cannibals or men-eaters in the 
three other parts of the world, if we credit the relations of 
Ptolemy, Strabo and Pliny. And thus if the favourable pen 
of Moses had not revealed the confusion of tongues, and 
positively declared their division at Babel ; our disputes con- 
cerning their beginning had been without end, 1 and I fear 
we must have left the hopes of that decision unto Elias.* 

And if any will yet insist, and urge the question farther still 
upon me, I shall be enforced unto divers of the like nature, 
wherein perhaps I shall receive no greater satisfaction. I 
shall demand how the camels of Bactria came to have two 
bunches on their backs, whereas the camels of Arabia in all 
relations have but one ? How oxen in some countries began 
and continue gibbous or bunch-backed? What way those 
many different shapes, colours, hairs, and natures of dogs 

* Elias cum venerit, solvet dubium. 

1 had not revealed the confusion, fyc.~\ Adam was white ? Job answered, " How 
The question which forms the subject of you know Adam white ? We think Adam 
this and the two following chapters, ap- black ; and we ask how you came to be 
pears to me to be very much of the same white? A question which it is not pro- 
class as those adverted to in the present bable the Dr. was able to answer." 
passage: questions utterly incapable of Mo. Rev. vol. xxxviii, p. 541. Mr. 
solution, in the absence of positive infor- Payne Knight, in his work On Taste, 
mation. We know the proximate cause p. 15, is of the same opinion, that Adam 
of the different complexions existing in Paradise was an African Black ! ! — 
among the blacker and tawny varieties Dr. Pritchard has also endeavoured to 
of the human race, to be the different shew that all men were originally Ne- 
hues of the colouring matter contained groes. Blumenbach on the other hand 
in the rete mucosum ; but as to the ori- supposes the original to have been Cau- 
ginating cause, we can scarcely arrive at casian. The influence of climate has 
even a probable conjecture. There have been the most generally assigned cause 
existed various opinions as to the original of the blackness of Negroes, — by some 
complexion of mankind. Not only have of the greatest naturalists both in ancient 
the Negroes deemed themselves the and modern times; for example by Pliny, 
"fairer," describing the devil and all Buffon, Smith, and Blumenbach. But 
terrible objects as being white ; — but it is a theory which surely a careful in- 
they have contended that our first pro- vestigation of facts will be sufficient to 
genitor was, like themselves, black. Job overthrow. In addition to our author's 
Ben Solomon, an African prince, when observations to this effect, see those of 
in England, was in company with Dr. the English editors of Cuviers Animal 
Watts. The Dr. enquiring of him why Kingdom, vol. i, p. 174. 
he and his countrymen were black, since Nor is the difficulty as to the originat- 

CHAP. X.] 



came in ? * How they of some countries became depilous, 
and without any hair at all, whereas some sorts in excess 
abound therewith ? How the Indian hare came to have a 
long tail, whereas that part in others attains no higher than 
a scut ? How the hogs of Illyria, which Aristotle speaks of, 
became solipedes or whole-hoofed, whereas in other parts" 

frig cause of the varieties in the human 
race confined to the mere question of 
complexion. It extends to the variations 
in hair and beard — to the configuration 
of the head — to the character and ex- 
pression of countenance — the stature and 
symmetry of the body — and to the still 
more important — differences in moral and 
intellectual character. But of what use 
is it to exercise ingenuity as to the rea- 
sons of these particular variations? We 
see that the most astonishing variety per- 
vades and adorns the whole range of 
creation. Let us be content to resolve 
it into the highest cause to which we can 
ascend, the will of that Being who has 
thus surrounded himself with the glory 
of his own works. 

I subjoin some remarks by Mr. Bray- 
ley, bearing on a part of the subject. 

In an elaborate paper by Dr. Stark, 
on the influence of colour on heat and 
odours, published in the Phil. Trans, for 
1833, are contained some observations 
and experiments which tend to throw 
considerable light upon this subject. Dr. 
Franklin, it is stated by the author of 
the paper, from the result of his experi- 
ments with coloured cloths on the ab- 
sorption of heat, drew the conclusion, 
" that black clothes are not so fit to wear 
in a hot sunny climate or season as white 
ones, because in such clothes the body is 
more heated by the sun, when we walk 
abroad and are at the same time heated 
by the exercise ; which double heat is 
apt to bring on putrid, dangerous fevers ;" 
that soldiers and seamen in tropical 
climates should have a white uniform; 
that white hats should be generally worn 
in summer; and that garden walls for 
fruit trees would absorb more heat from 
being blackened. 

"Count Rumford and Sir Evrd. Home, 
on the contrary," Dr. Stark continued, 
"come to a conclusion entirely the re- 
verse of this. The count asserts, that if 
he were called upon to live in a very 
warm climate, he would blacken his skin 
or wear a black shirt; and Sir Everard, 


from direct experiments on himself and 
on a Negro's skin, lays it down as evi- 
dent, 'that the power of the sun's rays 
to scorch the skins of animals is destroyed 
when applied to a dark surface, although 
the absolute heat, in consequence of the 
absorption of the rays, is greater.' Sir 
Humphry Davy explains this fact by 
saying, ' that the radiant heat in the 
sun's rays is converted into sensible heat.' 
With all deference to the opinion of this 
great man, it by no means explains why 
the surface of the skin was kept compa- 
ratively cool. From the result of the 
experiments detailed, (in Dr. Stark's pa- 
per) it is evident, that if a black surface 
absorbs caloric in greatest quantity, it 
also gives it out in the same proportions 
and thus a circulation of heat is as it 
were established, calculated to promote 
the insensible perspiration, and to keep 
the body cool. This view is confirmed 
by the observed fact of the stronger 
odour exhaled by the bodies of black 
people." — Br. 

2 what way those many, ^-c] Rev. 
Mr. White, in his delightful Natural 
History of Selborne, describes a very cu- 
rious breed of edible dogs from China — 
"such as are fattened in that country for 
the purpose of being eaten : they are 
about the size of a moderate spaniel ; of 
a pale yellow colour, with coarse bristling 
hair on their backs, sharp upright ears, 
and peaked heads, which give them a 
very fox-like appearance. They bark 
much in a short, thick manner, like 
foxes ; and have a surly savage demean- 
our, like their ancestors, which are not 
domesticated, but bred up in sties, where 
they are fed for the table with rice-meal 
and other farinaceous food." On the 
subject of canine varieties Sir W. Jardine 
in a note refers to " some very interest- 
ing observations, in the fifth number of 
the Journal of Agriculture, by Mr. J. 

3 in other parts.] Not in all, for about 
Aug. 1625, at a farm 4 miles from Win- 
chester, I beheld with wonder a great 



they are bisulcous, and described cloven-hoofed, by God 
himself? All which, with many others, must needs seem 
strange unto those that hold there were but two of the un- 
clean sort in the ark ; and are forced to reduce these varieties 
to unknown originals. 

However therefore this complexion was first acquired, it is 
evidently maintained by generation, and by the tincture of 
the skin as a spermatical part traduced from father unto son; 
so that they which are strangers contract it not, and the na- 
tives which transmigrate, amit it not without commixture, 
and that after divers generations. And this affection, (if the 
story were true) might wonderfully be confirmed, by what 
Maginus and others relate of the emperor of Ethiopia, or 
Prester John, who, derived from Solomon, is not yet descen- 
ded into the hue of his country, but remains a Mulatto, 
that is, of a mongrel complexion unto this day. Now al- 
though we conceive this blackness to be seminal, yet are we 
not of Herodotus' conceit, that their seed is black. An 
opinion long ago rejected by Aristotle, and since by sense 
and enquiry. His assertion against the historian was probable, 
that all seed was white ; that is, without great controversy in 
viviparous animals, and such as have testicles, or preparing 
vessels, wherein it receives a manifest dealbation. And not 
only in them, but (for ought I know) in fishes, not abating the 
seed of plants ; whereof at least in most, though the skin and 
covering be black, yet is the seed and fructifying part not so : 
as may be observed in the seeds of onions, piony, and basil. 
Most controvertible it seems in the spawn of frogs and lob- 
sters, whereof notwithstanding at the very first the spawn is 
white, contracting by degrees a blackness, answerable in the 
one unto the colour of the shell, in the other unto the 
porwigle or tadpole ; that is, that animal which first proceed- 
eth from it. And thus may it also be in the gener tion and 
sperm of Negroes ; that being first and in its naturals white, 
but upon separation of parts, accidents before invisible be- 

heanl of swine, whole footed, and taller mitted, as in that of the " chough " and 
then any other that ever I sawe. — Wr. " pied crow," just before ; viz. the con- 
In several of the examples in this founding of species with varieties. 
paragraph, the same error has been com- 


come apparent ; there arising a shadow or dark efflorescence 
in the out-side, whereby not only their legitimate and timely 
births, but their abortions are also dusky, before they have 
felt the scorch and fervor of the sun. 


Of the same. 

A second opinion * there is, that this complexion was first a 
curse of God derived unto them from Cham, upon whom it 
was inflicted for discovering the nakedness of Noah. Which 
notwithstanding is sooner affirmed than proved, and carried 
with it sundry improbabilities. For first, if we derive the 
curse on Cham, or in general upon his posterity, we shall 
denigrate a greater part of the earth than was ever so con- 
ceived, and not only paint the Ethiopians and reputed sons 
of Cush, but the people also of Egypt, Arabia, Assyria, and 
Chaldea, for by this race were these countries also peopled. 
And if concordantly unto Berosus, the fragment of Cato de 
Originibus, some things of Halicarnasseus, Macrobius, and 
out of them Leandro and Annius, we shall conceive of the 
travels of Camese or Cham, we may introduce a generation 
of Negroes as high as Italy, which part was never culpable of 
deformity, but hath produced the magnified examples of 

4 A second opinion.] Possevine, in his countrye into this side of the river by 

2 torn, and 252 page, does much applaud the black Moores, drawne thither by the 

himself as the first inventor of this con- richnes of the soile on the further side, 

ceite. ButScaliger,inhis 244 exercitation, And doubtles considering that the mari- 

sifting that quere of Cardan, why those time Moors of Barbarye, who lye 1)00 

that inhabite the hither side of the river miles on this side the tropicke, are 

Senega, in Affiick, are dwarfish and blacker then those of the posteritye of 

ash colour; those on the other side are tall Chus, in Arabia, which lyes under the 

and Negroes ; rejects all arguments drawn tropick ; wee must needs conclude that 

from natural! reasons of the soile, &c. this is but a poore conceyte, not unlike 

and concludes that the Asanegi on this many other roving phancyes wherein the 

side the river formerly inhabited on both Jesuit is wont to vaunt himselfe. — Wr. 
sides of it, but were driven out of their 

T 2 


Secondly, the curse mentioned in Scripture was not de- 
nounced upon Cham, but Canaan, his youngest son, and the 
reasons thereof are divers. The first from the Jewish tra- 
dition, whereby it is conceived that Canaan made the discovery 
of the nakedness of Noah, and notified it unto Cham. Second- 
ly, to have cursed Cham, had been to curse all his posterity, 
whereof but one was guilty of the fact. And lastly, he spared 
Cham, because he had blessed him before. Now if we 
confine this curse unto Canaan, and think the same fulfilled 
in his posterity, then do we induce this complexion on the 
Sidonians, then was the promised land a tract of Negroes, 
for from Canaan were descended the Canaanites, Jebusites, 
Amorites, Girgashites, and Hivites, which were possessed of 
that land. 

Thirdly, although we should place the original of this curse 
upon one of the sons of Cham, yet were it not known from 
which of them to derive it. For the particularity of their 
descents is imperfectly set down by accountants, nor is it 
distinctly determinable from whom thereof the Ethiopians 
are proceeded. For whereas these of Africa are generally 
esteemed to be the issue of Chus, the elder son of Cham, it 
is not so easily made out. For the land of Chus, which the 
Septuagint translates Ethiopia, makes no part of Africa, nor 
is it the habitation of blackamoors, but the country of Arabia, 
espec'ally the Happy and Stony possessions and colonies of 
all the sons of Chus, excepting Nimrod and Havilah, possessed 
and planted wholly by the children of Chus, that is, by Sabtah 
and Ramah, Sabtacha, and the sons of Raamah, Dedan, and 
Sheba; according unto whose names the nations of those parts 
have received their denominations, as may be collected from 
Pliny and Ptolemy, and as we are informed by credible 
authors, they hold a fair analogy in their names even unto 
our days. So the wife of Moses translated in Scripture an 
Ethiopian, and so confirmed by the fabulous relation of 
Josephus, was none of the daughters of Africa, nor any 
Negro of Ethiopia, but the daughter of Jethro, Prince and 
Priest of Midian, which was a part of Arabia the Stony, 
bordering upon the Red Sea. So the Queen of Sheba came 
not unto Solomon out of Ethiopia, but from Arabia, and that 


part thereof which bore the name of the first planter, the 
son of Chus. So whether the eunuch, which Philip the 
deacon baptised, were servant unto Candace, queen of the 
African Ethiopia, (although Damianus a Goes, Codignus, and 
the Ethiopic relations aver it,) is yet by many, and with strong 
suspicions, doubted. So that the army of a million, which 
Zerah, King of Ethiopia, is said to bring against Asa, was 
drawn out of Arabia, and the plantations of Chus; not out of 
Ethiopia, and the remote habitations of the Moors. For it 
is said that Asa pursuing his victory took from him the 
city Gerar ; now Gerar was no city in or near Ethiopia, but 
a place between Cadesh and Zur, where Abraham formerly 
sojourned. Since therefore these African Ethiopians are not 
convinced by the common acception to be the sons of Chus, 
whether they be not the posterity of Phut or Mizraim, or 
both, it is not assuredly determined. For Mizraim, he pos- 
sessed Egypt, and the east parts of Africa. From Lubym, 
his son, came the Libyans, and perhaps from them the 
Ethiopians. Phut possessed Mauritania, and the western 
parts of Africa, and from these perhaps descended the Moors 
of the west, of Mandinga, Meleguette, and Guinea. But 
from Canaan, upon whom the curse was pronounced, none of 
these had their original ; for he was restrained unto Canaan 
and Syria, although in after ages many colonies dispersed, 
and some thereof upon the coasts of Africa, and preposses- 
sions of his elder brothers. 

Fourthly, to take away all doubt or any probable divarica- 
tion, the curse is plainly specified in the text, nor need we 
dispute it, like the mark of Cain ; Servus servorum erit 
fratrtbus suis, " Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants shall 
he be unto his brethren ; " which was after fulfilled in the 
conquest of Canaan, subdued by the Israelites, the posterity 
of Sem. Which prophecy Abraham well understanding, 
took an oath of his servant not to take a wife for his son Isaac 
out of the daughters of the Canaanites, and the like was per- 
formed by Isaac in the behalf of his son Jacob. As for Cham 
and his other sons, this curse attained them not; for Nimrod, 
the son of Chus, set up his kingdom in Babylon, and erected 
the first great empire ; Mizraim and his posterity grew mighty 


monarchs in Egypt; and the empire of the Ethiopians hath 
been as large as either. Nor did the curse descend in general 
upon the posterity of Canaan, for the Sidonians, Arkites, 
Hamathites, Sinites, Arvadites, and Zemerites seem exempted. 
But why there being eleven sons, five only were condemned, 
and six escaped the malediction, is a secret beyond discovery. 5 
Lastly, whereas men affirm this colour was a curse, I 
cannot make out the propriety of that name, it neither 
seeming so to them, nor reasonably unto us, for they take so 
much content therein, that they esteem deformity by other 
colours, describing the devil and terrible objects white ; 
and if we seriously consult the definitions of beauty, and 
exactly perpend what wise men determine thereof, we shall 
not apprehend a curse, or any deformity therein. For first, 
some place the essence thereof in the proportion of parts, 
conceiving it to consist in a comely commensurability of the 
whole unto the parts, and the parts between themselves, 
which is the determination of the best and learned writers. 
Now hereby the Moors are not excluded from beauty, there 
being in this description no consideration of colours, but an 
apt connection and frame of parts and the whole. Others 
there be, and those most in number, which place it not only 
in proportion of parts, but also in grace of colour. But to 
make colour essential unto beauty, there will arise no slender 
difficulty. For Aristotle, in two definitions of pulchritude, 
and Galen in one, have made no mention of colour. Neither 
will it agree unto the beauty of animals, wherein notwith- 
standing there is an approved pulchritude. Thus horses are 
handsome under any colour, and the symmetry of parts 
obscures the consideration of complexions. Thus in concolour 
animals and such as are confined unto one colour, we measure 
not their beauty thereby ; for if a crow or blackbird grow 
white, we generally account it more pretty ; and in almost a 
monstrosity descend not to opinion of deformity. By this 
way likewise the Moors escape the curse of deformity, there 
concurring no stationary colour, and sometimes not any unto 

s Nor did the curse, &;c.~] First added in 2nd edition. 


The Platonick contemplators reject both these descriptions 
founded upon parts and colours, or either, as M. Leo, the 
Jew, hath excellently discoursed in his Genealogy of Love, 
defining beauty a formal grace, which delights and moves 
them to love which comprehend it. This grace, say they, 
discoverable outwardly, is the resplendour and ray of some 
interior and invisible beauty, and proceedeth from the forms 
of compositions amiable. Whose faculties if they can aptly 
contrive their matter, they beget in the subject an agreeable 
and pleasing beauty ; if over ruled thereby, they evidence not 
their perfections, but run into deformity. For seeing that 
out of the same materials, Thersites and Paris, monstrosity 
and beauty may be contrived, the forms and operative facul- 
ties introduce and determine their perfections. Which 
in natural bodies receive exactness in every kind, according 
to the first idea of the Creator, and in contrived bodies the 
fancy of the artificer, and by this consideration of beauty, 
the Moors also are not excluded, but hold a common share 
therein with all mankind. 

Lastly, in whatsoever its theory consisteth, or if in the 
general we allow the common conceit of symmetry and of 
colour, yet to descend unto singularities, or determine in 
what symmetry or colour it consisted, were a slippery desig- 
nation. For beauty is determined by opinion, and seems to 
have no essence that holds one notion with all ; that seeming 
beauteous unto one, which hath no favour with another ; and 
that unto every one, according as custom hath made it natu- 
ral, or sympathy and conformity of minds shall make it seem 
agreeable. Thus flat noses seem comely unto the Moor, an 
aquiline or hawked one unto the Persian, a large and promi- 
nent nose unto the Roman ; but none of all these are accept- 
able in our opinion. Thus some think it most ornamental to 
wear their bracelets on their wrists, others say it is better to 
have them about their ankles ; some think it most comely to 
wear their rings and jewels in the ear, others will have them 
about their privities ; a third will not think they are complete 
except they hang them in their lips, cheeks, or noses. Thus 
Homer to set off Minerva, calleth her yXauxScnc, that is, gray 
or light-blue eyed ; now this unto us seems far less amiable 


than the black. Thus we that are of contrary complexions 
accuse the blackness of the Moors as ugly ; but the spouse 
in the Canticles excuseth this conceit, in that description of 
hers, I am black, but comely. And howsoever Cerberus, and 
the furies of hell be described by the poets under this com- 
plexion, yet in the beauty of our Saviour, blackness is com- 
mended, when it is said, his locks are bushy and black as a 
raven. So that to infer this as a curse, or to reason it as a 
deformity, is no way reasonable ; the two foundations of 
beauty, symmetry and complexion, receiving such various ap- 
prehensions, that no deviation will be expounded so high as 
a curse or undeniable deformity, without a manifest and con- 
fessed degree of monstrosity. 

Lastly, it is a very injurious method unto philosophy, and 
a perpetual promotion of ignorance, in points of obscurity, 
nor open unto easy considerations, to fall upon a present re- 
fuge unto miracles ; or recur unto immediate contrivance from 
the unsearchable hands of God. Thus, in the conceit of the 
evil odour of the Jews, Christians, without a further research 
into the verity of the thing, or enquiry into the cause, draw up 
a judgment upon them from the passion of their Saviour. 
Thus in the wondrous effects of the clime of Ireland, and 
the freedom from all venomous creatures, the credulity of 
common conceit imputes this immunity unto the benediction 
of St. Patrick, as Beda and Gyraldus have left recorded. 
Thus the ass having a peculiar mark of a cross made by a 
black list down his back, and another athwart, or at right 
angles down his shoulders: common opinion ascribe this 
figure unto a peculiar signation, since that beast had the 
honour to bear our Saviour on his back. Certainly this is a 
course more desperate than antipathies, sympathies, or occult 
qualities ; wherein by a final and satisfactive discernment of 
faith, we lay the last and particular effects upon the first and 
general cause of all things ; whereas in the other, we do but 
palliate our determinations, until our advanced endeavours do 
totally reject, or partially salve their evasions. 

6 evil odour of the Jews'."] See more of this, p. 156, note 4. 



A Digression concerning Blackness. 

There being therefore two opinions repugnant unto each 
other, it may not be presumptive or sceptical to doubt of 
both. And because we remain imperfect in the general theory 
of colours, we shall deliver at present a short discovery of 
blackness ; wherein although perhaps we afford no greater 
satisfaction than others, yet shall we empirically and sensibly 
discourse hereof; deducing the causes of blackness from such 
originals in nature, as we do generally observe things are de- 
nigrated by art. And herein I hope our progression will not 
be thought unreasonable ; for, art being the imitation of nature, 
or nature at the second hand, it is but a sensible expression 
of effects dependent on the same, though more removed 
causes : and therefore the works of the one may serve to dis- 
cover the other. And though colours of bodies may arise ac- 
cording to the receptions, refraction, or modification of light; 
yet are there certain materials which may dispose them unto 
such qualities. 7 

And first, things become, by a sooty and fuliginous matter 
proceeding from the sulphur of bodies, torrified ; not taking 
fuligo strictly, but in opposition unto arfilg, that is any kind of 
vaporous or madefying excretion, and comprehending uw&v- 
luasiq, that is, as Aristotle defines it, a separation of moist and 
dry parts made by the action of heat or fire, and colouring 
bodies objected. Hereof in his Meteors, from the qualities 
of the subject, he raiseth three kinds ; the exhalations from 
ligneous and lean bodies, as bones, hair, and the like he called 
xavvoc,/ limits ; from fat bodies, and such as have not their fat- 
ness conspicuous or separated, he termeth X'r/vig, fuligo, as wax, 

7 And though colours, #<>.] First added in the 6lh edit- 


resin, pitch, or turpentine ; that from unctuous bodies, and 
such whose oiliness is evident, he named xwotfa or nidor. Now 
every one of these do blacken bodies objected unto them, 
and are to be conceived in the sooty and fuliginous matter ex- 

I say, proceeding from the sulphur of bodies terrified, that 
is, the oil, fat, and unctuous parts, wherein consist the princi- 
ples of flammability. Not pure and refined sulphur, as in the 
spirits of wine often rectified ; but containing terrestrious 
parts, and carrying with it the volatile salt of the body, and 
such as is distinguishable by taste in soot : nor vulgar and 
usual sulphur, for that leaves none or very little blackness, 
except a metalline body receive the exhalation. 

I say, torrified, singed, or suffering some impression from 
fire ; thus are bodies casually or artificially denigrated, which 
in their naturals are of another complexion ; thus are char- 
coals made black by an infection of their own suffitus ; so is 
it true what is affirmed of combustible bodies, adusta nigra, 
perusta alba ; black at first from the fuliginous tincture, which 
being exhaled they become white, as is perceptible in ashes. 
And so doth fire cleanse and purify bodies, because it con- 
sumes the sulphureous parts, which before did make them 
foul, and therefore refines those bodies which will never be 
mundified by water. Thus camphire, of a white substance, 
by its Juligo affbrdeth a deep black. So is pitch black, al- 
though it proceed from the same tree with resin, the one dis- 
tilling forth, the other forced by fire. So of the suffitus of a 
torch, do painters make a velvet black ; so is lamp-black 
made ; so of burnt hart-horns a sable ; so is bacon denigrated 
in chimnies; so in fevers and hot distempers from choler adust 
is caused a blackness in our tongues, teeth and excretions ; so 
are tistilago, brant-corn and trees black by blasting; so parts 
cauterized, gangrenated, siderated and mortified, become 
black, the radical moisture, or vital sulphur suffering an extinc- 
tion, and smothered in the part affected. So not only actual but 
potential fire — not burning fire, but also corroding water — 
will induce a blackness. So are chimnies and furnaces gene- 
rally black, except they receive a clear and manifest sulphur ; 
for the smoke of sulphur will not black a paper, and is com- 


monly used by women to whiten tiffanies, which it perfovmeth 
by an acid vitriolous, and penetrating spirit ascending from 
it, by reason whereof it is not apt to kindle any thing : nor will 
it easily light a candle, until that spirit be spent, and the flame 
approacheth the match. This is that acid and piercing spirit 
which with such activity and compunction invadeth the brains 
and nostrils of those that receive it. And thus when Bello- 
nius affirmeth the charcoals made out of the wood of oxycedar 
are white, Dr. Jordan in his judicious discourse of mineral 
waters yieldeth the reason, because their vapors are rather 
sulphureous than of any other combustible substance. So we 
see that Tinby coals will not black linen hanged in the smoke, 
thereof, but rather whiten it by reason of the drying and 
penetrating quality of sulphur, which will make red roses 
white. And therefore to conceive a general blackness in hell, 
and yet therein the pure and refined flames of sulphur, is no 
philosophical conception, nor will it well consist with the real 
effects of its nature. 

These are the advenient and artificial ways of denigration, 
answerably whereto may be the natural progress. These are 
the ways whereby culinary and common fires do operate, and 
correspondent hereunto may be the effects of fire elemental. 
So may bitumen, coals, jet, black-lead, and divers mineral 
earths become black ; being either fuliginous concretions in 
the earth, or suffering a scorch from denigrating principles in 
their formation. So men and other animals receive different 
tinctures from constitution and complexional efflorescences, 
and descend still lower, as they partake of the fuliginous and 
denigrating humour. And so may the Ethiopians or Negroes 
become coal-black, from fuliginous efflorescences and com- 
plexional tinctures arising from such probabilities, as we have 
declared before. 

The second way whereby bodies become black, is an atra- 
mentous condition or mixture, that is, a vitriolate or copperas 8 
quality conjoining with a terrestrious and astringent humidity; 
for so is atramentum scriptorium, or writing ink commonly 
made by copperas cast upon a decoction or infusion of galls. 

" copperas.'] Reade copper-rust. 


I say a vitriolous or copperas quality ; for vitriol is the active 
or chief ingredient in ink, and no other salt that I know 
will strike the colour with galls ; neither alum, sal-gem, nitre, 
nor armoniack. Now artifical copperas, and such as we com- 
monly use, is a rough and acrimonious kind of salt drawn out 
of ferreous and eruginous earths, partaking chiefly of iron and 
copper ; the blue of copper, the green most of iron. Nor is 
it unusual to dissolve fragments of iron in the liquor thereof, 
for advantage in the concretion. I say, a terrestrious or as- 
tringent humidity ; for without this there will ensue no tinc- 
ture; for copperas in a decoction of lettuce or mallows affords 
no black, which with an astringent mixture it will do, though 
it be made up with oil, as in printing and painting ink. 9 But 
whereas in this composition we use only nut-galls, that is, an 
excrescence from the oak, therein we follow and beat upon 
the old receipt ; for any plant of austere and stiptick parts 
will suffice, as I have experimented in bistort, myrobalans, 
myrtus brabantica, balaustium and red-roses. And indeed, 
most decoctions of astringent plants, of what colour soever, 
do leave in the liquor a deep and muscadine red : which by 
addition of vitriol descends into a black: and so Dioscorides 
in his receipt of ink, leaves out gall, and with copperas makes 
use of soot. 1 

Now if we enquire in what part of vitriol this atramental 
and denigrating condition lodgeth, it will seem especially to 
lie in the more fixed salt thereof. For the phlegm or aqueous 
evaporation will not denigrate ; nor yet spirits of vitriol, which 
carry with them volatile and nimbler salt. For if upon a de- 
coction of copperas and gall, be poured the spirits or oil of 
vitriol, the liquor will relinquish his blackness ; the gall and 
parts of the copperas precipitate unto the bottom, and the ink 
grow clear again, which it will not so easily do in common ink, 
because that gum is dissolved therein, which hindereth the 
separation. But colcothar or vitriol burnt, though unto a 
redness, containing the fixed salt, will make good ink ; and so 
will the lixivium, or lye made thereof with warm water ; but 

9 as in printing, fyc."] There is noe 1 sool.~\ But he meant torche or lamp 
copper-rust in printinge ink, which is soote. — Wr. 
made of lamp black and oyle. — Wr. 


the terra or insipid earth remaining, affords no black at all, 
but serves in many things for a gross and useful red. And 
though spirits of vitriol, projected upon a decoction of galls, 
will not raise a black, yet if these spirits be any way fixed, or 
return into vitriol again, the same will act their former parts, 
and denigrate as before. And if we yet make a more exact 
enquiry, by what this salt of vitriol more peculiarly gives this 
colour, we shall find it to be from a metalline condition, and 
especially an iron property or ferreous participation. For blue 
copperas 2 which deeply partakes of the copper will do it but 
weakly, verdigris which is made of copper will not do it at all. 
But the filings of iron infused in vinegar, will with a decoction 
of galls make good ink, without any copperas at all ; and so 
will infusion of load-stone, which is of affinity with iron. And 
though more conspicuously in iron, yet such a calcanthous or 
atramentous quality we will not wholly reject in other metals; 
whereby we often observe black tinctures in their solutions. 
Thus a lemon, quince or sharp apple cut with a knife be- 
comes immediately black. And from the like cause, arti- 
chokes. So sublimate beat up with whites of eggs, if touch- 
ed with a knife, becomes incontinently black. So aquafortis, 
whose ingredient is vitriol, will make white bodies black. So 
leather, dressed with the bark of oak, is easily made black by 
a bare solution of copperas. So divers mineral waters and 
such as participate of iron, upon an infusion of galls, become 
of a dark colour, and entering upon black. So steel infused, 
makes not only the liquor dusky, but, in bodies wherein it 
concurs with proportionable tinctures, makes also the excre- 
tions black. And so also from this vitriolous quality, mercu- 
rius dulcis, and vitriol vomitive, occasions black ejections. 
But whether this denigrating quality in copperas proceedeth 
from an iron participation, or rather in iron from a vitriolous 
communication ; or whether black tinetures from metallical 
bodies be not from vitriolous parts contained in the sulphur, 
since common sulphur containeth also much vitriol, may admit 
consideration. However in this way of tincture, it seemeth 
plain, that iron and vitriol are the powerful denigrators. 3 

2 copperas.'] Reade copper -rust, and 3 But whether, 8fc.~] First added in 3rd 
soe itt is. — H'r. edition. 


Such a condition there is naturally in some living creatures. 
Thus that black humour by Aristotle named 6okbg, and com- 
monly translated atr amentum, may be occasioned in the cuttle- 
fish. Such condition there is naturally in some plants, as 
black-berries, walnut-rinds, black-cherries ; whereby they 
extinguish inflammations, corroborate the stomach, and are 
esteemed specifical in the epilepsy. Such an atramentous 
condition there is to be found sometime in the blood, when 
that which some call acetum, vitriolum, concurs with parts 
prepared for this tincture. And so from these conditions the 
Moors might possibly become Negroes, receiving atramentous 
impressions in some of those ways, whose possibility is by us 

Nor is it strange that we affirm there are vitriolous parts, 
qualities, and even at some distance vitriol itself in living bodies ; 
for there is a sour stiptick salt diffused through the earth, 
which passing a concoction in plants, becometh milder and 
more agreeable unto the sense ; and this is that vegetable 
vitriol, whereby divers plants contain a grateful sharpness, as 
lemons, pomegranates, cherries, or an austere and inconcocted. 
roughness, as sloes, medlars and quinces. And that not only 
vitriol is a cause of blackness, but the salts of natural bodies 
do carry a powerful stroke in the tincture and varnish of all 
things, we shall not deny, if we contradict not experience, and 
the visible art of dyers, who advance and graduate their co- 
lours with salts. 4 For the decoctions of simples which bear the 
visible colours of bodies decocted, are dead and evanid, with- 
out the commixtion of alum, argol and the like. And this is 
also apparent in chemical preparations. So cinnabar 5 becomes 
red by the acid exhalation of sulphur, which otherwise pre- 
sents a pure and niveous white. So spirits of salt upon a blue 
paper make an orient red. So tartar, 6 or vitriol upon an in- 
fusion of violets affords a delightful crimson. Thus it is won- 
derful what variety of colours the spirits of saltpetre, and es- 
pecially, if they be kept in a glass while they pierce the sides 

4 salts.'} And allums, which are a kind excellent red inke. — Wr. 

of sake. — Wr. fi tartar.} A drop of the oyle of sul- 

5 cinnabar.'] Soe the oyle of tartar pour- phur turns conserve of red roses into a 
ed on the filing of Brasil wood make an scarlat, — Wr. 


thereof; I say, what orient greens they will project. From 
the like spirits in the earth the plants thereof perhaps acquire 
their verdure. And from such solary* irradiations may those 
wondrous varieties arise, which are observable in animals, as 
mallard's heads, and peacock's feathers, receiving intention 
or alteration according as they are presented unto the light. 

Thus saltpetre, ammoniack and mineral spirits emit delect- 
able and various colours ; and common aqua fortis will in 
some green and narrow-mouthed glasses, about the verges 
thereof, send forth a deep and gentianella blue. 

Thus have we at last drawn our conjectures unto a period ; 
wherein if our contemplations afford no satisfaction unto 
others, I hope our attempts will bring no condemnation on our- 
selves : for (besides that adventures in knowledge are laudable, 
and the essays of weaker heads afford oftentimes improveable 
hints unto better,) although in this long journey we miss the 
intended end, yet are there many things of truth disclosed by 
the way; and the collateral verity may unto reasonable spe- 
culations somewhat requite the capital indiscovery. 


Of Gypsies. 

Great wonder it is not, we are to seek, in the original of 
Ethiopians, and natural Negroes, being also at a loss concern- 
ing the original of Gypsies 8 and counterfeit Moors, observable 
in many parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. 

* Whence the colours of plants, &c. may arise. 

7 Chap, xiii & xiv first appeared in 2nd on. While the progress of science and 
edition. the discoveries which reward the patience 

8 concerning the original of Gypsies-'] and acuteness of modern investigation, 
This question, unlike the greater number are daily affording us satisfactory expla- 
of those which have occupied the atten- nations of various phenomena in nature, 
tion of Sir Thomas, would seem less and the origin of Gypsies is a question which 
less likely to be answered, as years roll the lapse of time is daily removing fur- 


Common opinion deriveth them from Egypt, and from 
thence they derive themselves, according to their own account 
hereof, as Munster discovered in the letters and pass which 
they obtained from Sigismund the emperor. That they first 

ther from our reach. Little has therefore 
been done towards its solution, but to 
collect and compare former opinions and 
speculations. The criterion, which seems 
the most to be relied upon, is that of 
language. Sir Thomas gives us no autho- 
rity for his assertion that the dialect of the 
Gypsies is Sclavonian : an assertion which 
inclines him to the opinion that they came 
originally from the north of Europe. A 
very different theory was suggested by 
Biittner, and advocated after great labor 
and research with every appearance of 
probability, by Grellman. He has given 
a comparative vocabulary shewing a strik- 
ing affinity between the Gypsy and Hin- 
doostanee languages. Capt. Richardson, 
in the Asiatic Researches, (vol. vii,p. 451) 
has carried the point still further, and 
established an affinity between them and 
a tribe in India, called the Bazeegurs. 
Professor Pallas and other writers have 
remarked this similarity of language. 
Dr. Pritchard is decidedly of opinion that 
their origin was Indian. Mr. Hoyland, 
of Sheffield, with the benevolent object 
of bettering their condition, took great 
pains some years ago to investigate their 
history, and especially their present state ; 
and published a volume on this subject, 
entitled, "A Historical Survey of the 
Customs, Habits, and Present State of 
the Gypsies," 8vo. York, 1816. 

Brand, (in his Observations on Popular 
Antiquities, vol. ii, 432,) speaks of the 
Gypsies as of Hindoo origin, probably of 
the lowest caste, called Pariars, or Su- 
ders; and says, they probably emigrated 
about 1108, in consequence of the con- 
quests of Timur Beg. Park mentions a 
wandering tribe named Libey, whom he 
had seen in his travels in Africa, very 
similar in their habits and customs to the 
Gypsies. A different solution has been 
proposed by an anonymous writer in the 
Gentleman's Magazine, (vol. lxxii, 291,) 
who thinks it very probable that they are 
the fulfilment of the prophecy in Gen. 
xvi, respecting the descendants of Ish- 
mael. He observes that they inhabited 
in the first place the wilderness of Pa ran ; 
that they increased prodigiously, and, 
under the appellation of Al Arab al mos- 
td-reba, or insit'wus Arabs, hived off from 

Arabia Deserta and Petraa, then too nar- 
row to contain them, into the neighbour- 
ing country of Egypt. So that both the 
African and Asiatic shores of the Red 
Sea became inhabited by these nomadic 
Arabs. He therefore rather inclines to 
suppose the Gypsies, who made their ap- 
pearance in Europe in the early part of 
the 15th century, to have been a migra- 
tion of these Arabs, whose country had 
been the theatre of the ferocious contests 
between Tamerlane and Bajazet — than 
to have been Suders driven from India 
by Timur Beg. In corroboration of his 
theory he remarks, the greater propin- 
quity of Arabia and Egypt to Europe. 
He concludes by noticing a subsequent 
migration led from Egypt, a century 
later, by Zinganeus — when that coun- 
try was invaded by Solyman the Great. 

The appellations Egyptians and Zin- 
ganees is readily accounted for on the 
supposition of '.his writer. We are not, 
after all, perhaps, precluded from avail- 
ing ourselves, to a certain extent, of both 

An amusing account is given, in the 
Gentleman's Magazine, for Dec. 1S01, of 
a Gypsy supper in the New Forest. Dr. 
Knox relates, in his last Winter Evening, 
the following incident, in proof of the 
piety of the Gypsies: "A large party had 
requested leave to rest their weary limbs, 
during the night, in the shelter of a barn ; 
and the owner took the opportunity of 
listening to their conversation. He found 
their last employment at night, and their 
first in the morning, was prayer. And 
though they could teach their children 
nothing else, they taught them to suppli- 
cate, in an uncouth but pious language, 
the assistance of a friend, in a world 
where the distinctions of rank are little 
regarded. I have been credibly inform- 
ed, that these poor neglected brethren 
are very devout, and remarkably dispos- 
ed to attribute all events to the interpo- 
sition of a particular Providence." 

It may be doubted, perhaps, with too 
much probability, whether his benevolent 
inference in their favour would be borne 
out by more intimate acquaintance with 
their general character. 


came out of lesser Egypt, that having defected from the Chris- 
tian rule, and relapsed unto pagan rites, some of every family 
were enjoined this penance to wander about the world. Or, 
as Aventinus delivereth, they pretend for this vagabond course 
a judgment of God upon their forefathers, who refused to 
entertain the Virgin Mary and Jesus, when she fled into their 

Which account notwithstanding is of little probability : for 
the general stream of writers, who enquire into their original, 
insist not upon this ; and are so little satisfied in their descent 
from Egypt, that they deduce them from several other nations. 
Polydore Virgil accounting them originally Syrians ; Philippus 
Bergomas fetcheth them from Chaldea ; Eneas Sylvius from 
some part of Tartary ; Bellonius no further than Wallachia 
and Bulgaria ; nor Aventinus than the confines of Hungaria.* 

That they are no Egyptians, Bellonius maketh evident :f 
who met great droves of Gypsies in Egypt, about Grand Cairo, 
Matasrea, and the villages on the banks of Nilus, who notwith- 
standing were accounted strangers unto that nation, and wan- 
derers from foreign parts, even as they are esteemed with us. 

That they came not out of Egypt is also probable, because 
their first appearance was in Germany, since the year 1400 ; 
nor were they observed before in other parts of Europe, as is 
deducible from Munster, Genebrard, Crantsius and Ortilius. 

But that they first set out not far from Germany, is also 
probable from their language, which was the Sclavonian 
tongue ; and when they wandered afterward into France, they 
were commonly called Bohemians, which name is still retain- 
ed for Gypsies. And therefore when Crantsius delivereth, they 
first appeared about the Baltick Sea, when Bellonius deriveth 
them from Bulgaria and Wallachia, and others from about 
Hungaria, they speak not repugnantly hereto: for the lan- 
guage of those nations was Sclavonian, at least some dialect 

But of what nation soever they were at first, they are now 
almost of all : associating unto them some of every country 
where they wander. When they will be lost, or whether at 

* Feijnand. de Cordua didascal. multipl. f Observat. 1. 2. 



all again, is not without some doubt ; for unsettled nations have 
out-lasted others of fixed habitations. And though Gypsies 
have been banished by most Christian princes, yet have they 
found some countenance from the great Turk, who suffereth 
them to live and maintain publick stews near the imperial city 
in Pera, of whom he often maketh a politick advantage, em- 
ploying them as spies into other nations, under which title 
they were banished by Charles the fifth. 


Of some others. 

We commonly accuse the fancies of elder times in the im- 
proper figures of heaven assigned unto constellations, which 
do not seem to answer them, either in Greek or Barbarick 
spheres. Yet equal incongruities have been commonly com- 
mitted by geographers and historians, in the figural resem- 
blances of several regions on earth. While by Livy and 
Julius Rusticus the island of Britain is made to resemble a 
long dish or two-edged axe : Italy by Numatianus to be like 
an oak leaf, and Spain an oxhide ; while the fancy of Strabo 
makes the habitated earth like a cloak ; and Dionysius Afer 
will have it like a sling ; with many others observable in good 
writers,* yet not made out from the letter or signification : — 
acquitting astronomy in the figures of the zodiack ; wherein 
they are not justified unto strict resemblances, but rather 
made out from the effects of sun or moon in these several 
portions of heaven, or from peculiar influences of those con- 
stellations, which some way make good their names. 

Which notwithstanding being now authentic by prescrip- 
tion, may be retained in their naked acceptions, and names 
translated from substances known on earth. And therefore 

* Tacit, de vita Jul. rfgric. Junctin, in Sph. I. de Sarro bosro. cap. 2. 


the learned Hevelius, in his accurate Selenography, or de- 
scription of the moon, hath well translated the known appella- 
tions of regions, seas and mountains, unto the parts of that 
luminary; and rather than use invented names or human 
denominations, with witty congruity hath placed Mount 
Sinai, Taurus, Masotis Palus, the Mediterranean Sea, Mau- 
ritania, Sicily and Asia Minor in the moon. 

More hardly can we find the Hebrew letters in the heavens 
made out of the greater and lesser stars, which put together 
do make up words, wherein cabalistical speculators conceive 
they read events of future things.* And how, from the stars 
in the head of Medusa, to make out the word Charab, and 
thereby desolation presignified unto Greece or Javan nu- 
merally characterized in that word, requireth no rigid 

It is not easy to reconcile the different accounts of longi- 
tude, while in modern tables the hundred and eightieth degree 
is more than thirty degrees beyond that part, where Ptolemy 
placeth an 180. Nor will the wider and more western term 
of longitude, from whence the moderns begin their commen- 
suration, sufficiently salve the difFerence.J The ancients 
began the measure of longitude from the Fortunate Islands or 
Canaries, the moderns from the Azores or islands of St. 
Michael ; but since the Azores are but fifteen degrees more 
west, why the moderns should reckon 180, where Ptolemy 
accounteth above 220, or though they take in fifteen degrees 
at the west, why they should reckon thirty at the east, beyond 
the same measure, is yet to be determined, nor would it be much 
advantaged, if we should conceive that the compute of Pto- 
lemy were not so agreeable unto the Canaries, as the Hespe- 
rides or islands of Capo Verde. § 

Whether the compute of months from the first appearance 
of the moon, which divers nations have followed, be not a 
more perturbed way than that which accounts from the con- 
junction may seem of reasonable doubt ;|| not only from the 

* The cabala of the stars. f Greffarel out of R. Chomer. 

X Athan. Kircher. in prooemio. § Robertus Hues de globis. 

|| Hevel. Selenog. cap. 9. 

U 2 


uncertainty of its appearance in foul and cloudy weather, but 
unequal time in any, that is, sooner or later, according as the 
moon shall be in the signs of long descension, as Pisces, 
Aries, Taurus, in the perigeum or swiftest motion, and in 
the northern latitude; whereby sometimes it may be seen 
the very day of the change, as did observably happen, 1654, 
in the months of April and May. Or whether also the com- 
pute of the day be exactly made from the visible arising or 
setting of the sun, because the sun is sometimes naturally set, 
and under the horizon, when visibly it is above it ; from the 
causes of refraction, and such as make us behold a piece of 
silver in a bason, when water is put upon it, which we 
could not discover before, as under the verg.e thereof. 

Whether the globe of the earth be but a point in respect 
of the stars and firmament, or how if the rays thereof do fall 
upon a point, they are received in such variety of angles, 
appearing greater or lesser from differences of refraction ? 

Whether if the motion of the heavens should cease a while, 
all things would instantly perish ; and whether this assertion 
doth not make the frame of sublunary things to hold too 
loose a dependency upon the first and conserving cause, at 
least impute too much unto the motion of the heavens, whose 
eminent activities are by heat, light, and influence, the motion 
itself being barren, or chiefly serving for the due application 
of celestial virtues unto sublunary bodies, as Cabeus hath 
learnedly observed. 

Whether comets or blazing stars be generally of such 
terrible effects, as elder times have conceived them ; 9 for 
since it is found that many, from whence these predictions 
are drawn, have been above the moon, why they may not be 

9 Whether comets, 8fc.~\ Aristotle con- regions of the heavens, till they have 

sidered them to be accidental fires or found out fit places for their residence, 

meteors, kindled in the atmosphere, which having pitched upon, they stop 

Kepler supposed them to be monsters, their irregular course, and being turned 

generated in celestial space! into planets, move circularly about some 

Dr. Thomas Burnet says, that the star. — Charles Blount's ]\Iiscella?ieous 

comets seem to him to be nothing else Works, p. 63. 

but (as one may say) the dead bodies of Tycho Brahe first ascertained, by ob- 

the fixed stars unburied, and not as yet servations on the comet of 1577, that 

composed to rest; they, like shadows, comets are permanent bodies, like the 

wander up and down through the various planets. 


qualified from their positions, and aspects which they hold 
with stars of favourable natures, or why since they may be 
conceived to arise from the effluviums of other stars, they 
may not retain the benignity of their originals ; or since the 
natures of the fixed stars are astrologically differenced by 
the planets, and are esteemed martial or jovial, according to 
the colours whereby they answer these planets, why, although 
the red comets do carry the portentions of Mars, the brightly 
white should not be of the influence of Jupiter or Venus, 
answerably unto Cor Scorpii and Arcturus, is not absurd to 





That the Forbidden Fruit was an Apple. 

That the forbidden fruit of Paradise was an apple, is com- 
monly believed, confirmed by tradition, perpetuated by 
writings, verses, pictures ; and some have been so bad pro- 
sodians, as from thence to derive the Latin word malum, 
because that fruit was the first occasion of evil : wherein 
notwithstanding determinations are presumptuous, and many 
I perceive are of another belief. For some have conceived 
it a vine ; * in the mystery of whose fruit lay the expiation of 
the transgression. Goropius Becanus, reviving the conceit 
of Barcephas, peremptorily concludeth it to be the Indian 
fig-tree, and by a witty allegory labours to confirm the 
same. Again, some fruits pass under the name of Adam's 
apples, which in common acception admit not that appella- 
tion : the one described by Matthiolus under the name of 
Pomum Adami, a very fair fruit, and not unlike a citron, but 
somewhat rougher, chopt and crannied, vulgarly conceived 
the marks of Adam's teeth ; another, the fruit of that plant 
which Serapion termeth Musa, but the eastern Christians 

1 a vine.'] By the fatal influence of and of Noah were exposed. See the 
whose fruit the nakedness both of Adam Targum of Jonathan.— Jeff. 


commonly the apples of Paradise ; not resembling an apple 
in figure, and in taste a melon or cucumber. 2 Which fruits 
although they have received appellations suitable unto the 
tradition, yet we cannot from thence infer they were this fruit 
in question. No more than Arbor vitce, so commonly called, 
to obtain its name from the tree of life in Paradise, or Arbor 
Judce, to be the same which supplied the gibbet unto 

Again, there is no determination in the text ; wherein is 
only particularised, that it was the fruit of a tree good for 
food, and pleasant unto the eye, in which regards many excel 
the apple : and therefore learned men do wisely conceive it 
inexplicable ; and Philo puts determination unto despair, 
when he affirmeth the same kind of fruit was never pro- 
duced since. Surely were it not requisite to have been 
concealed, it had not passed unspecified ; nor the tree re- 
vealed which concealed their nakedness, and that concealed 
which revealed it ; for in the same chapter mention is made 
of fig-leaves. And the like particulars, although they seem 
uncircumstantial, are oft set down in Holy Scripture ; so is 
it specified that Elias sat under a juniper tree, Absolom 
hanged by an oak, and Zaccheus got up into a sycamore. 

And although, to condemn such indeterminables, unto him 
that demanded on what hand Venus was wounded, the phi- 
losopher thought it a sufficient resolution, to re-inquire upon 
what leg king Philip halted ; and the Jews not undoubtedly 
resolved of the sciatica side of Jacob, do cautiously in their 
diet abstain from the sinews of both ; 3 yet are there many 
nice particulars which may be authentically determined. 
That Peter cut off the right ear of Malchus, is beyond all 
doubt. That our Saviour eat the Passover in an upper 

2 again, Sfc] The fruit shops of Lon- actly what it was. The common Italian 

don exhibit a large kind of citron label- Porno oV Adamo is a variety of Citrus 

led, Forbidden Fruit, respecting which, Limctta ; that of Paris is a thick-skinned 

and the Pomum Adami of Matthiolus, I orange ; and at least three other things 

have the following obliging and satisfac- have been so called. I do not think it 

tory notice from my friend Professor possible to ascertain what Matthiolus 

Lindley : — " The forbidden fruit of the meant, beyond the fact that it was a 

London markets is a variety of the Citrus of some kind." 

Citrus Decumana, and is in fact a 3 of both.'] And this superstition be- 

small sort of shaddock. But as to the foolcs them alike in both — fVr. 
Pomum Adami, no one can make out ex- 


room, we may determine from the text. And some we may 
concede which the Scripture plainly defines not. That the 
dial of Ahaz 4 was placed upon the west-side of the temple, 
we will not deny, or contradict the description of Adrico- 
mius ; that Abraham's servant put his hand under his right 
thigh, we shall not question ; and that the thief on the right 
hand was saved, and the other on the left reprobated, to make 
good the method of the last judicial dismission, we are ready 
to admit. But surely in vain we enquire of what wood was 
Moses' rod, or the tree that sweetened the waters. Or, though 
tradition or human history might afford some light, whether 
the crown of thorns was made of paliurus ; whether the cross 
of Christ were made of those four woods in the distich of 
Durantes,* or only of oak, according unto Lipsius and Go- 
ropius, we labour not to determine. For though hereof 
prudent symbols and pious allegories be made by wiser 
conceivers ; yet common heads will fly unto superstitious 
applications, and hardly avoid miraculous or magical expec- 

Now the ground or reason that occasioned this expression 
by an apple, might be the community of this fruit, and which 
is often taken for any other. So the goddess of gardens is 
termed Pomona ; so the proverb expresseth it, to give apples 
unto Alcinous ; so the fruit which Paris decided was called 
an apple ; so in the garden of Hesperides (which many con- 
ceive a fiction drawn from Paradise) we read of golden 
apples guarded by the dragon. And to speak strictly in 
this appellation, they placed it more safely than any other; 
for, beside the great variety of apples, the word in Greek 
comprehendeth oranges, 5 lemons, citrons, quinces ; and as 

* Pes Cedrus est, truncus Cupressus, Oliva supremum, Palmque transversum 
Christi sunt in cruce lignum. 

4 dial of Ahaz.~\ Suggestions have " miraculous refraction." Is it not bet- 
been made respecting this, as well as ter to take the literal meaning, content 
some other miracles, which seem to me to believe that to omnipotence one mira- 
to proceed too much on the principle of cle is no greater than another ? 
endeavouring to lessen them, so as to 5 word in Greek.'] Not only in Greeke 
bring them within the compass of belief, but in Latin also, all these are cald by 
Thus the dial only, not the sun, is sup- the very name of apple trees as Mains 
posed to have gone backwards ; and that Aurantia, Citria, Ci/donia, Granata. — 
not really, but only apparently, — by a Wr. 


Ruellius defineth,* such fruits as have no stone within, and 
a soft covering without ; excepting the pomegranate ; and 
will extend much further in the acception of Spigelius,f who 
comprehendeth all round fruits under the name of apples, 
not excluding nuts and plumbs. 6 

It hath been promoted in some constructions from a pas- 
sage in the Canticles, as it runs in the vulgar translation, Sub 
arbore malo suscitavi te, ibi corrupta est mater tua, ibi vio- 
lates est genitrix tua.% Which words notwithstanding para- 
bolically intended, admit no literal inference, and are of little 
force in our translation, " I raised thee under an apple tree, 
there thy mother brought thee forth, there she brought thee 
forth that bare thee." So when, from a basket of summer 
fruits or apples, as the vulgar rendereth them, God by Amos 
foretold the destruction of his people, we cannot say they had 
any reference unto the fruit of Paradise, which was the 
destruction of man ; but thereby was declared the propin- 
quity of their desolation, and that their tranquillity was of 
no longer duration than those horary § or soon decaying fruits 
of summer. Nor, when it is said in the same translation, 
Poma desiderii animce tuce discesserunt a te, " the apples 
that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee," is there 
any allusion therein unto the fruit of Paradise ; but thereby 
is threatened unto Babylon, that the pleasures and delights 
of their palate should forsake them. And we read in Pierius, 
that an apple was the hieroglyphick of love, and that the 
statua of Venus was made with one in her hand. So the 
little cupids in the figures of Philostratus || do play with ap- 
ples in a garden ; and there want not some who have symbo- 
lized the apple of Paradise unto such constructions. 7 

Since therefore after this fruit, curiosity fruitlessly enquireth, 
and confidence blindly determineth, we shall surcease our 
inquisition ; rather troubled that it was tasted, than troubling 
ourselves in its decision ; this only we observe, when things 

* Ruel. L)e Stirpium Natura. f Isagoge in rem Herbariam. % Cant. viii. 
§ Fructus borcci. || Philoslrat. figure vi, De amoribus. 

6 and will extend, ^c] First added "' So the little cupids, t)c.] First add- 
in 2nd edition. ed in 2nd edition. 


are left uncertain, men will assure them by determination. 
Which is not only verified concerning the fruit, but the 
serpent that persuaded ; many defining the kind or species 
thereof. So Bonaventure and Comestor affirm it was a 
dragon, Engubinus a basilisk, Delrio a viper, and others a 
common snake. 8 Wherein men still continue the delusion of 
the serpent, who having deceived Eve in the main, sets her 
posterity on work to mistake in the circumstance, and en- 
deavours to propagate errors at any hand. And those he 
surely most desireth which concern either God or himself; 
for they dishonour God, who is absolute truth and goodness; 
but for himself, who is extremely evil, and the worst we can 
conceive, by aberration of conceit they may extenuate his 
depravity, and ascribe some goodness unto him. 


That a Man hath one Rib less than a Woman. 

That a man hath one rib less than a woman, is a common 
conceit, derived from the history of Genesis, wherein it stands 
delivered, that Eve was framed out of a rib of Adam ; whence 
it is concluded the sex of men still wants that rib our father 
lost in Eve. And this is not only passant with the many, but 
was urged against Columbus in an anatomy of his at Pisa, 
where having prepared the skeleton of a woman that chanced 
to have thirteen ribs on one side, there arose a party that 
cried him down, and even unto oaths affirmed, this was the 
rib wherein a woman exceeded. Were this true, it would 
ocularly silence that dispute out of which side Eve was framed ; 
it would determine the opinion of Oleaster, that she was made 

8 snake.] Itt seemes to bee none of noe reference to this storye, wittily cals 
these but rather that species which Sea- (Exercitat. 226, §,) sy^sXmdgU'ffOVg, 
liger, the great secretary of nature, with whe rof see [before, pp. 95, 6, 7.]— Wr. 


out of the ribs of both sides, or such as from the expression 
of the text * maintain there was a plurality of ribs required ; 
and might indeed decry the parabolical exposition of Origen, 
Cajetan, and such as fearing to concede a monstrosity, or mu- 
tilate the integrity of Adam, preventively conceive the crea- 
tion of thirteen ribs. 

But this will not consist with reason or inspection. For if 
we survey the skeleton of both sexes, and therein the compage 
of bones, we shall readily discover that men and women have 
four and twenty ribs ; that is, twelve on each side, seven greater, 
annexed unto the sternon, and five lesser which come short 
thereof. Wherein if it sometimes happen that either sex 
exceed, the conformation is irregular, deflecting from the com- 
mon rate or number, and no more inferrible upon mankind 
than the monstrosity of the son of Rapha, or the vitious ex- 
cess in the number of fingers and toes. And although some 
difference there be in figure, and the female os innominatum 
be somewhat more protuberant, to make a fairer cavity for 
the infant; the coccyx sometime more reflected, to give the 
easier delivery ; and the ribs themselves seem a little flatter ; 
yet are they equal in number. And therefore, while Aristotle 
doubteth the relations made of nations, which had but seven 
ribs on a side, and yet delivereth, that men have generally no 
more than eight ; as he rejecteth their history, so can we not 
accept of his anatomy. 

Again, although we concede there wanted one rib in the 
skeleton of Adam, yet were it repugnant unto reason, and 
common observation, that his posterity should want the same. 
For we observe that mutilations are not transmitted from 
father unto son ; the blind begetting such as can see, men with 
one eye children with two, and cripples mutilate in their own 
persons do come out perfect in their generations. For the 
seed conveyeth with it not only the extract and single idea of 
every part, whereby it transmits their perfections or infirmi- 
ties ; but double and over again ; whereby sometimes it mul- 
tipliciously delineates the same, as in twins, in mixed and nu- 
merous generations. Parts of the seed do seem to contain 

* Os ex ossibus meis. 


the idea and power of the whole ; so parents deprived of 
hands, beget manual issues, and the defect of those parts is 
supplied by the idea of others. So in one grain of corn ap- 
pearing similarly and insufficient for a plural germination, 
there lieth dormant the virtuality of many other ; and from 
thence sometimes proceed above an hundred ears. And thus 
may be made out the cause of multiparous productions ; for 
though the seminal materials disperse and separate in the 
matrix, the formative operator will not delineate a part, but 
endeavour the formation of the whole ; effecting the same as 
far as the matter will permit, and from dividing materials at- 
tempt entire formations. And therefore, though wondrous 
strange, it may not be impossible what is confirmed at Laus- 
dun concerning the Countess of Holland ; nor what Albertus 
reports of the birth of an hundred and fifty. And if we con- 
sider the magnalities of generation in some things, 9 we shall 
not controvert its possibilities in others : nor easily question 
that great work, whose wonders are only second unto those of 
the creation, and a close apprehension of the one, might per- 
haps afford a glimmering light, and crepusculous glance of 
the other. 


Of Methuselah. 

What hath been every where opinioned by all men, and in 
all times, is more than paradoxical to dispute ; and so, that 
Methuselah was the longest liver of all the posterity of Adam, 
we quietly believe : but that he must needs be so, is perhaps 

9 And if we consider, #-c.] " Many the want of that bone, which he had so 

things are useful and convenient, which multiplied, so animated. O God, we can 

are not necessary : and if God had seen never be losers by thy changes, we have 

manmightnotwantit.howeasyhaditbeen nothing but what is thine, take from us 

for him which made the woman of that thine own when thou wilt ; we are sure 

bone, to turn the flesh into another bone? thou canst not but give us better!"— 

But he saw man could not complain of Bp. Hall's Contemp. bk. 1, ch. 2. 


below paralogy to deny. 1 For hereof there is no determina- 
tion from the text ; wherein it is only particularised he was the 
longest liver of all the patriarchs whose age is there expressed ; 
but that he out-lived all others, we cannot well conclude. 2 
For of those nine whose death is mentioned before the flood, 
the text expresseth that Enoch was the shortest liver; who 
saw but three hundred sixty-five years. But to affirm from 
hence, none of the rest, whose age is not expressed, did die 
before that time, is surely an illation whereto we cannot assent. 
Again many persons there were in those days of longevity, 
of whose age notwithstanding there is no account in Scrip- 
ture; as of the race of Cain, the wives of the nine patriarchs, 
with all the sons and daughters that every one begat : where- 
of perhaps some persons might out-live Methuselah ; the 
text intending only the masculine line of Seth, conduciable 
unto the genealogy of our Saviour, and the antediluvian chro- 
nology. And therefore we must not contract the lives of 
those which are left in silence by Moses ; for neither is the 
age of Abel expressed in the Scripture, yet is he conceived 
far elder than commonly opinioned ; and if we allow the con- 
clusion of his epitaph as made by Adam, and so set down by 
Salian, Posuit mcerens pater, cui a filio justius positumforet, 
Anno ab ortu rerum 130; Ab Abele nato 129, we shall not 
need to doubt. Which notwithstanding Cajetan and others 
confirm; nor is it improbable, if we conceive that Abel was 
born in the second year of Adam, 3 and Seth a year after the 
death of Abel; for so it being said, that Adam was an hun- 

1 is perhaps below parology to deny."] the marriage of Seth's posterityes with 
"To deny it is not hastily to be con- Caine's female issue. Itt is fit to beleeve 
demned as false reasoning." that God would never grant to any of 

2 we cannot, $fc.~\ If the learned au- Caine's posterity longer life then to the 
thor had looked into the text, Gen. v, longest liver among the patriarchs, when 
hee woulde have dasht this unnecessary he intended to cutt off even that life of 
and frivolous discourse, for in that the theirs which hee permitted them to pvo- 
Holy Ghost does particularly mention all long till their sinns were fulfild: and there- 
the 9 patriarchs' ages, as of men to whom fore tooke away Mathuselah also the 
God gave such long life for the peopling yeare that hee sent the flood to take 
of the world: and tooke away all the away all (universally) then living, save 
rest of the world, not only in Caine's Noah and his immediate family. — TIY. 
race, but in all the other patriarchal fa- 3 second year, <yc] Abel's birth is not 
milyes, men, women, and children, that deducible necessarily from Scripture : 
they might not live to propagate that wick- his death is more probable. — Wr. 
edness which had overspread the world by 


dred and thirty years old when he begat Seth, Abel must perish 
the year before, which was one hundred and twenty-nine. 

And if the account of Cain 4 extend unto the deluge, it 
may not be improbable that some thereof exceeded any of 
Seth. Nor is it unlikely in life, riches, power, and temporal 
blessings, they might surpass them in this world, whose lives 
related unto the next. For so when the seed of Jacob was 
under affliction and captivity, that of Ishmael and Esau flourish- 
ed and grew mighty, there proceeding from the one twelve 
princes, from the other no less than fourteen dukes and eight 
kings. And whereas the age of Cain and his posterity is 
not delivered in the text, some do salve it from the secret 
method of Scripture, which sometimes wholly omits, but 
seldom or never delivers the entire duration of wicked and 
faithless persons, as is observable in the history of Esau, 
and the kings of Israel and Judah. And therefore when 
mention is made that Ishmael lived 127 years, some conceive 
he adhered unto the faith of Abraham, for so did others who 
were not descended from Jacob, for Job is thought to be an 
Idumean, and of the seed of Esau. 

Lastly, although we rely not thereon, we will not omit that 
conceit urged by learned men, that Adam was elder 5 than 
Methuselah ; inasmuch as he was created in the perfect age 
of man, which was in those days 50 or 60 years, for about 
that time we read that they begat children ; so that if unto 
930 we add 60 years, he will exceed Methuselah ; and there- 
fore if not in length of days, at least in old age he surpassed 
others ; he was older than all, who was never so young as 
any. For though he knew old age, he was never acquainted 
with puberty, youth or infancy, and so in a strict account he 
begat children at one year old. And if the usual compute 
will hold, that men are of the same age which are born within 

4 Cain.] Betweene the creation and flood, excepting only eight persons. — 

the flood were 1656 yeares, to which, Wr. 

though Cain's owne accompt did not 5 Adam was elder.] This phrase, as 

reach, yet his posteiitye did. For upon itt is commonly used, signifies elder in 

them was the flood sent, yet not on them time, and then itt sayes nothing, for who 

onlye, for all the posterityes of the denyes itt ? But in lengthe of dayes 

patriarchal familyes, which doubtless from the birthe Adam was not Soe old 

were innumerable, did all perish in the as Mathuselah by 20 yeares. — Wr. 


compass of the same year, Eve was as old as her husband 
and parent Adam, and Cain, their son, coetaneous unto both. 
Now that conception, that no man 6 did ever attain unto a 
thousand years, because none should ever be one day old in 
the sight of the Lord, unto whom, according to that of David, 
"A thousand years are but one day," doth not advantage 
Methuselah. And being deduced from a popular expression, 
which will not stand a metaphysical and strict examination, is 
not of force to divert a serious enquirer. For unto God a 
thousand years are no more than one moment, and in his 
sight Methuselah lived no nearer one day than Abel, for all 
parts of time are alike unto him, unto whom none are refera- 
ble, and all things present unto whom nothing is past or to 
come ; and therefore, although we be measured by the zone 
of time, and the flowing and continued instants thereof do 
weave at last a line and circle about the eldest, yet can we 
not thus commensurate the sphere of Trismegistus, 7 or sum 
up the unsuccessive and stable duration of God. 


That there was no Rainboiv before the Flood. 

That there shall no rainbow appear forty years before the 
end of the world, and that the preceding drought unto that 
great shame shall exhaust the materials of this meteor, was 
an assertion grounded upon no solid reason ; but that there 
was not any in sixteen hundred years, that is, before the 

6 that no man, S j -c.'] This is most true imaginary only), yet soe Adam would 

de facto, though the reason bee but sym- not reach to 1000 by 10 yeares, and 

bolical, and concludes nothing neces- therfore the saying is most true. — Wr. 

sarilye. For granting that Adam was 7 sphere of Trismegistus.] Trisme- 

created in the perfect age of man, as gistus sayd God was a circle, whose 

then itt was, which was rather 100 then center, that is, his presentiall and immu- 

G0, yet he lived noe more then 930 in table essence, from whence all things 

all, viz. solar, sydereal, tropick years, have their beinge, is every where, but 

To which if you add those hypothecall his circumference, that is, his incompre- 

60 yeares (for they are not reall but hensible infinity, is noe where. — If r. 


flood, seems deducible from Holy Scripture, Gen. ix, " I do 
set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a 
covenant between me and the earth." From whence notwith- 
standing we cannot conclude the non-existence of the rainbow, 
nor is that chronology naturally established, which computeth 
the antiquity of effects arising from physical and settled causes, 
by additional impositions from voluntary determinators. Now 
by the decree of reason and philosophy, the rainbow hath 
its ground in nature, as caused by the rays of the sun, falling 
upon a rorid and opposite cloud, whereof some reflected, 
others refracted, beget that semi-circular variety we generally 
call the rainbow, which must succeed upon concurrence of 
causes and subjects aptly predisposed. And therefore to 
conceive there was no rainbow before, because God chose 
this out as a token of the covenant, is to conclude the exis- 
tence of things from their signalities, or of what is objected 
unto the sense, a coexistence with that which is internally 
presented unto the understanding. With equal reason we 
may infer there was no water before the institution of baptism, 
nor bread and wine before the Holy Eucharist. 

Again, while men deny the antiquity of one rainbow, they 
anciently concede another. For beside the solary iris which 
God shewed unto Noah, there is a lunary, whose efficient 
is the moon, visible only in the night, most commonly called 
at full moon, and some degrees above the horizon. Now the 
existence hereof men do not controvert, although effected by 
a different luminary in the same way with the other. And pro- 
bably it appeared later, as being of rare appearance and rarer 
observation, and many there are which think there is no such 
thing in nature ; and therefore by casual spectators they are 
looked upon like prodigies, and significations made, not 
signified by their natures. 

Lastly, we shall not need to conceive God made the 
rainbow at this time, if we consider that in its created and 
predisposed nature, it was more proper for this signification, 
than any other meteor or celestial appearancy whatsoever. 
Thunder and lightning had too much terror to have been 
tokens of mercy. Comets or blazing stars appear too seldom 
to put us in mind of a covenant to be remembered often, and 
VOL. III. x 


might rather signify the world should be once destroyed by 
fire, than never again by water. The galaxia or milky circle 
had been more probable ; for beside that unto the latitude of 
thirty, it becomes their horizon twice in four and twenty 
hours, and unto such as live under the equator, in that space 
the whole circle appeareth, part thereof is visible unto any 
situation ; but being only discoverable in the night, and when 
the air is clear, it becomes of unfrequent and comfortless 
signification. A fixed star had not been visible unto all the 
globe, and so of too narrow a signality in a covenant con- 
cerning all. But rainbows are seen unto all the world, and 
every position of sphere, Unto our own elevation they may 
appear in the morning, while the sun hath attained about 
forty-five degrees above the horizon, which is conceived the 
largest semidiameter of any iris, and so in the afternoon when 
it hath declined unto that altitude again, which height the sun 
not attaining in winter, rainbows may happen with us at noon 
or any time. Unto a right position of sphere they may appear 
three hours after the rising of the sun, and three before its 
setting; for the sun ascending fifteen degrees an hour, in 
three attaineth forty-five of altitude. Even unto a parallel 
sphere, and such as live under the pole, for half a year some 
segments may appear at any time and under any quarter, the 
sun not setting but walking round about them. 

But the propriety of its election most properly appeareth 
in the natural signification and prognostic of itself; as con- 
taining a mixed signality of rain and fair weather. For, 
being in a rorid cloud and ready to drop, it declareth a plu- 
vious disposure in the air ; but because, when it appears, the 
sun must also shine, there can be no universal showers, and 
consequently no deluge. Thus, when the windows of the 
great deep were open, in vain men looked for the rainbow ; 
for at that time it could not be seen, which after appeared 
unto Noah. It might be therefore existent before the flood, 
and had in nature some ground of its addition. Unto that 
of nature God superadded an assurance of its promise, that is, 
never to hinder its appearance or so to replenish the heavens 
again, as that we should behold it no more. And thus, with- 
out disparaging the promise, it might rain at the same time 


when God shewed it unto Noah ; thus was there more there- 
in than the heathens understood when they called it the 
nunc'ia of the gods, and the laugh of weeping heaven ;*' and 
thus may he elegantly said, I put my bow, not my arrow in 
the clouds, that is, in the menace of rain, the mercy of fair 

Cabalistical heads, who from that expression in Isaiah,f do 
make a book of heaven, and read therein the great concern- 
ments of earth, do literally play on this, and from its semicir- 
cular figure (resembling the Hebrew letter caph, whereby is 
signified the uncomfortable number of twenty, at which years 
Joseph was sold, which Jacob lived under Laban, and at 
which men were to go to war,) do note a propriety in its sig- 
nification ; as thereby declaring the dismal time of the deluge. 
And Christian conceits do seem to strain as high, while from 
the irradiation of the sun upon a cloud, they apprehend the 
mystery of the sun of righteousness in the obscurity of flesh, 
by the colours green and red, the two destructions of the 
world by fire and water, or by the colours of blood and water, 
the mysteries of baptism, and the Holy Eucharist. 8 

Laudable therefore is the custom of the Jews, who upon 
the appearance of the rainbow, do magnify the fidelity of 
God in the memory of his covenant, according to that of 
Syracides, " Look upon the rainbow, and praise him that 
made it." And though some pious and Christian pens have 
only symbolized the same from the mystery of its colours, yet 
are there other affections which might admit of theological 
allusions. Nor would he find a more improper subject, that 
should consider that the colours are made by refraction of 
light, and the shadows that limit that light ; that the centre 
of the sun, the rainbow, and the eye of the beholder must 
be in one right line, that the spectator must be between the 
sun and the rainbow, that sometime three appear, sometime 
one reversed. With many others, considerable in meteorolo- 

* Risus plorantis Olympi. f Isa. xxxiv, 4. 

s Cabalistical heads, fyc.~\ The present first noticed in the last chapter of book vi, 
paragraph was first added in the 2nd edi- p. 291. 
tion, in which also the same subject was 


gical divinity, which would more sensibly make out the 
epithet of the heathens,* and the expression of the son of 
Syrach, " Very beautiful is the rainbow, it compasseth the 
heaven about with a glorious circle, and the hands of the 
Most High have bended it." 


Of Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 

Concerning the three sons of Noah, Shem, FIam,and Japheth, 
that the order of their nativity was according to that of 
enumeration, 9 and Japheth the youngest son, (as most believe, 
as Austin and others account), the sons of Japheth, and Euro- 
peans need not grant, nor will it so well concord unto the 
letter of the text, and its readiest interpretations. For so is 
it said in our translation, Shem the father of all the sons of 
Heber, the brother of Japheth the elder, so by the Septuagint, 

* Thaumancias. 

9 that the order of the nativity, #c] while the possessions of Ham and Japlietli, 
Mr. C. T. Beke, in the 5th chapter of Shem's younger brothers, were situated, 
Iiis Origines Bibliecc, takes some pains to as they would naturally be imagined to 
prove not only that Shem and not Japheth have been, on either side of the paternal 
was Noah's eldest son (a point admitting seat." He further endeavours to invali- 
some controversy), but that " the order in date the argument against Shem's seni- 
which the names of these three great ority, drawn from the 10th Gen. ver. 21, 
progenitors of the human species are — "unto Shem also the father of all the 
invariably placed when mentioned toge- children of Eber, the brother of Japheth 
ther in the sacred volume, may therefore the elder," — by an examination of similar 
be regarded as the order of their birth." passages which would admit, if not favour 
Whereas " it is plainly delivered," as the interpretation which Sir Thomas no- 
Sir Thomas remarks, that Ham, whose tices, as given to this passage by the Vul- 
name stands invariably second, was the gate and others, viz. "the elder brother 
youngest son — a fact which absolutely of Japheth." Neither docs he admit the 
overthrows this argument in favour of chronology to be conclusive against Shem, 
Shem's primogeniture, leaving the way but concludes, after a lengthened con- 
open to its consideration on other grounds, sideration of the point, that " there could 
Mr. Beke contends that its probability not have been a sufficient interval be- 
is "strengthened by the situation of the tween the 500th year of Noah's life, and 
country, which, in his opinion, was occu- the birth of the father of Arphaxail 
pied by Shem and hisdescendants, name- (Shem), to allow of the intervention of 
ly that in which Noah himself resided, an elder son." 


and so by that of Tremellius. And therefore when the Vulgar 
reads it, Fratre Japhet majore, the mistake, as Junius ob- 
serveth, might be committed by the neglect of the Hebrew 
accent, which occasioned Jerome so to render it, and many 
after to believe it. Nor is that argument contemptible which 
is deduced from their chronology, for probable it is that Noah 
had none of them before, and begat them from that year 
when it is said he was five hundred years old, and begat Shem, 
Ham, and Japheth. Again it is said he was six hundred years 
old at the flood, and that two years after Shem was but an 
hundred ; therefore Shem must be born when Noah was five 
hundred and two, and some other before in the year of five 
hundred and one. 

Now whereas the Scripture affordeth the priority of order 
unto Shem, we cannot from thence infer his primogeniture. 
For in Shem the holy line was continued, and therefore how- 
ever born, his genealogy was most remarkable. So is it not 
unusual in Holy Scripture to nominate the younger before 
the elder. So is it said, that * Terah beget Abraham, Nachor 
and Haram ; whereas Haram was the eldest. So Rebecca f 
is termed the mother of Jacob and Esau. Nor is it strange 
the younger should be first in nomination, who have commonly 
had the priority in the blessings of God, and been first in his 
benediction. So Abel was accepted before Cain, Isaac the 
younger preferred before Ishmael the elder, Jacob before 
Esau, Joseph was the youngest of twelve, and David the 
eleventh son and minor cadet of Jesse. 

Lastly, though Japheth were not elder than Shem, yet must 
we not affirm that he was younger than Cham ; for it is plainly 
delivered, that, after Shem and Japheth had covered Noah, 
he awaked and knew what his youngest son had done unto 
him ; vibg 6 vsuTegog is the expression of the Septuagint, Filius 
minor of Jerome, and minimus of Tremellius. And upon 
these grounds perhaps Josephus doth vary from the Scripture 
enumeration, and nameth them Shem, Japheth, and Cham : 
which is also observed by the Annian Berosus, Noah cum 
tribus Jiliis, Semo, Jepeto, CJiem. And therefore, although 

* Gen. xi. f Gen. xxviii. 


in the priority of Shem and Japheth, there may be some diffi- 
culty, though Cyril, Epiphanius, and Austin have accounted 
Shem the elder, and Salian the annalist, and Petavius the 
chronologist, contend for the same ; yet Cham is more plainly 
and confessedly named the youngest in the text. 

And this is more conformable unto the Pagan history and 
Gentile account hereof, unto whom Noah was Satan, whose 
symbol was a ship, as related unto the ark, and who is said 
to have divided the world between his three sons. Ham is 
conceived to be Jupiter, who was the youngest son, worshipped 
by the name of Hamon, who was the Egyptian and African 
name for Jupiter, who is said to have cut off the genitals of 
his father, derived from the history of Ham, who beheld the 
nakedness of his, and by no hard mistake might be confirmed 
from the text, * as Bochartus f hath well observed. 9 


That the Tower of Babel was erected against a second 

An opinion there is of some generality, that our fathers after 
the flood attempted the tower of Babel, to secure themselves 
against a second deluge. Which, however affirmed by 
Josephus and others, hath seemed improbable unto many 
who have discoursed hereon. For (beside that they could 
not be ignorant of the promise of God never to drown the 
world again, 1 and had the rainbow before their eyes to put 

* Gen. ix, 22. 

f Reading Veiaggod, et abscidit, for Veicgged, ct nunciavit. Bochartus de 

Geographia sacra. 

9 And this is more conformable, 8[C."\ the cheefe, is was of noe force: with 
This paragraph added in 2nd edition. them itt was more easie to slight first 
1 the promise of God, fyc.~\ This was and then to forget that promise : when as 
an argument of beleef in the family of they had now forgot God himselfe, as 
Sem in the Old Testament, and to the appeares by this bold attempt, which 
familyes of Japhet now in the new, that therfore most deservedly ended in con- 
could not break his promise. But to the fusion. — Wr. 
familyes of Hani, wherof Nimrod was 


them ill mind thereof,) it is improbable from the nature of 
the deluge ; which, being not possibly causable from natural 
showers above, or watery eruptions below, but requiring a 
supernatural hand, 2 and such as all acknowledge irresistible, 
must needs disparage their knowledge and judgment in so 
successless attempts. 

Again, they must probably hear, and some might know, 
that the waters of the flood ascended fifteen cubits above 
the highest mountains. Now, if (as some define) the per- 
pendicular altitude of the highest mountains be four miles, 
or (as others) but fifteen furlongs, it is not easily conceived 
how such a structure could be effected, except we allowed 
the description of Herodotus concerning the tower of Belus ; 
whose lowest story was in height and breadth one furlong, 
and seven more built upon it ; abating that of the Annian 
Berosus, the traditional relation of Jerome, and fabulous 
account of the Jews. Probable it is, that what they attempt- 
ed was feasible, otherwise they had been amply fooled in the 
fruitless success of their labours, nor needed God to have 
hindered them, saying, " Nothing will be restrained from 
them, which they begin to do." 3 

It was improbable from the place, that is, a plain in the 
land of Shinar. And if the situation of Babylon were such 
at first as it was in the days of Herodotus, it was rather a 
seat of amenity and pleasure, than conducing unto this inten- 
tion : it being in a very great plain, and so improper a place 
to provide against a general deluge by towers and eminent 
structures, that they were fain to make provisions against 
particular and annual inundations by ditches and trenches, 
after the manner of Egypt. And therefore Sir Walter 

2 requiring a supernatural hand.] A began, would thus, be merged in water 
late writer, speaking of the Mosaic ac- seven or eight feet deep in a quarter of 
count of the deluge, says, " What a an hour ! And were he to attempt ad- 
scene of terrific and awful desolation vancing up the rising ground, a cataract 
does this narrative convey ! How puerile of sheet water several feet deep would 
those comments which exhibit animals be gushing all the way in his face, be- 
and men escaping to the highest grounds sides impending water-spouts from the 
and hills as the flood advanced. The 'flood gates' of heaven, momentarily 
impossibility of such escape may be im- bursting over him : he would instantly 
mediately seen. Neither man nor beast become a prey to those ' mighty waters." 
under such circumstances could either 3 whose lowest story, §-c] This pas- 
advance or flee to any distance. Any sage was altered and enlarged in the 
animal, found in the plain when the flood 2nd edition. 


Raleigh * accordingly objecteth : if the nations which fol- 
lowed Nimrod still doubted the surprise of a second flood, 
according to the opinions of the ancient Hebrews, it soundeth 
ill to the ear of reason, that they would have spent many years 
in that low and overflown valley of Mesopotamia. And 
therefore in this situation, they chose a place more likely to 
have secured them from the world's destruction by fire, than 
another deluge of water: and, as Pierius observeth, some 
have conceived that this was their intention. 

Lastly, the reason is delivered in the text. "Let us build 
us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven, and 
let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the 
whole earth ; " as we have already begun to wander over a 
part. These were the open ends proposed unto the people ; 
but the secret design of Nimrod, was to settle unto himself 
a place of dominion, and rule over his brethren, as it after 
succeeded, according to the delivery of the text, " The 
beginning of his kingdom was Babel." 


Of the Mandrakes of Leah. 

We shall not omit the mandrakes 4 of Leah, according to 
the history of Genesis. " And Reuben went out in the days 
of wheat-harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and 
brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said 
unto Leah, give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes : and 
she saith unto her, is it a small matter that thou hast taken 

* History of the World. 

4 mandrakes.'} For a brief description requesting the mandrakes — by the fol- 

of a plant bearing this name, see vol. ii, lowing pithy expostulation ; — " To be 

p. .'{50, note 8. brief, I would know, whether it be a 

Ross concludes a page of criticism on greater error in me to affirm that which 

our author's reasons for rejecting the is denied by some, or in him to deny 

popular opinion of Rachel's motives for that which is affirmed by all?" 


my husband, and wouldst thou take my son's mandrakes also ? 
And Rachel said, therefore he shall lie with thee this night 
for thy son's mandrakes." From whence hath arisen a com- 
mon conceit, that Rachel requested these plants as a medicine 
of fecundation, or whereby she might become fruitful. 
Which notwithstanding is very questionable, and of incertain 

For, first, from the comparison of one text with another, 
whether the mandrakes here mentioned be the same plant 
which holds that name with us, there is some cause to doubt. 
The word is used in another place of Scripture,* when the 
church inviting her beloved into the fields, among the 
delightful fruits of grapes and pomegranates, it is said, " the 
mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of 
pleasant fruits." Now instead of a smell of delight, our 
mandrakes afford a papaverous and unpleasant odour, whether 
in the leaf or apple, as is discoverable in their simplicity or 
mixture. The same is also dubious from the different inter- 
pretations : for though the Septuagint and Josephus do 
render it the apples of mandrakes in this text, yet in the 
other of the Canticles, the Chaldee paraphrase termeth it 
balsam. R. Solomon, as Drusius observeth, conceives it to 
be that plant the Arabians named Jesemin. Oleaster, and 
Georgius Nenetus, the lily ; and that the word dudaim, may 
comprehend any plant that hath a good smell, resembleth a 
woman's breast, and flourisheth in wheat harvest. Tremellius 
interprets the same for any amiable flowers of a pleasant and 
delightful odour. But the Geneva translators have been 
more wary than any ; for although they retain the word man- 
drake in the text, they in effect retract it in the margin ; 
wherein is set down the word in the original is dudaim, 
which is a kind of fruit or flower unknown. 

Nor shall we wonder at the dissent of exposition, and 
difficulty of definition concerning this text, if we perpend 
how variously the vegetables of Scripture are expounded, and 
how hard it is in many places to make out the species deter- 
mined, Thus are we at variance concerning the plant that 

* Cant. vii. 


covered Jonas : which though the Septuagint doth render 
colocynthis, the Spanish calabaca, and ours accordingly a 
gourd, yet the vulgar translates it hedera or ivy ; and as 
Grotius observeth, Jerome thus translated it, not as the same 
plant, but best apprehended thereby. The Italian of Dio- 
dati, and that of Tremellius have named it ricinus, and so 
hath ours in the margin, for palma Christi is the same with 
ricinus. The Geneva translators have herein been also 
circumspect, for they have retained the original word lil:a- 
ion, and ours hath also affixed the same unto the margin. 

Nor are they indeed always the same plants which are 
delivered under the same name, and appellations commonly 
received amongst us. So when it is said of Solomon, that 
he writ of plants, " from the cedar of Lebanus, unto the 
hyssop that groweth upon the wall," that is from the greatest 
unto the smallest, it cannot be well conceived our common 
hyssop : for neither is that the least of vegetables, nor ob- 
served to grow upon walls ; but rather as Lemnius well 
conceiveth, some kind of the capillaries, which are very small 
plants, and only grow upon walls and stony places. Nor are 
the four species in the holy ointment, cinnamon, myrrh, cala- 
mus and cassia, nor the other in the holy perfume, frankin- 
cense, stacte, onijcha, and galbanum, so agreeably expounded 
unto those in use with us, as not to leave considerable doubts 
behind them. Nor must that perhaps be taken for a simple 
unguent, which Matthew only termeth a precious ointment ; 
but rather a composition, as Mark and John imply by pisticJc 
nard, that is faithfully dispensed, and may be that famous 
composition described by Dioscorides, made of oil of ben, 
malabathrum, juncus odoratus, costus, ctmomum, myrrh, 
balsam and nard,* which Galen affirmeth to have been in use 
with the delicate dames of Rome, and that the best thereof 
was made at Laodicea, from whence by merchants it was 
conveyed unto other parts. But how to make out that trans- 
lation concerning the tithe of mint, anise and cummin, we are 
still to seek ; for we find not a word in the text that can 
properly be rendered anise, the Greek being avrfiw, which the 

* V. Matthioli Epht. 


Latins call anethum, and is properly Englished dill. Lastly, 
what meteor that was, that fed the Israelites so many years, 
they must rise again to inform us. Nor do they make it out,* 
who will have it the same with our manna ; nor will any one 
kind thereof, or hardly all kinds we read of, be able to an- 
swer the qualities thereof, delivered in the Scripture ; that is 
to fall upon the ground, to breed worms, to melt with the 
sun, to taste like fresh oil, to be ground in mills, to be like 
coriander seed, and of the colour of bdellium.* 5 

Again, it is not deducible from the text or concurrent sen- 
tence of comments, that Rachel had any such intention, and 
most do rest in the determination of Austin, that she desired 
them for rarity, pulchritude, or suavity. Nor is it probable 
she would have resigned her bed unto Leah, when at the 
same time she had obtained a medicine to fructify herself. 
And therefore Drusius, who hath expressly and favourably 
treated hereof, is so far from conceding this intention, that he 
plainly concludeth, Hoc quo modo illis in mentem venerit, 
conjicere nequeo ; "how this conceit fell into men's minds, it 
cannot fall into mine ;" for the Scripture delivereth it not, nor 
can it be clearly deduced from the text. 

Thirdly, if Rachel had any such intention, yet had they no 
such effect, for she conceived not many years after, of Jo- 
seph ; whereas in the mean time Leah had three children, 
Issachar, Zebulon, and Dinah. 

Lastly, although at that time they failed of this effect, yet 
is it mainly questionable whether they had any such virtue, 
either in the opinions of those times, or in their proper na- 
ture. That the opinion was popular in the land of Canaan, 
it is improbable ; and had Leah understood thus much, she 
would not surely have parted with fruits of such a faculty; 
especially unto Rachel, who was no friend unto her. As for 
its proper nature, the ancients have generally esteemed it 
narcotick or stupefactive, and it is to be found in the list of 
poisons, set down by Dioscorides, Galen, ./Etius, iEgineta, 
and several antidotes delivered by them against it. It was, I 

* V. Doctissimum Chrysostom. Magncnum de Manna. 
5 Lastly, <^o.] This passage was added in the 2nd edition. 


confess, from good antiquity, and in the days of Theophras- 
tus, accounted a philter or plant that conciliates affection ; 
and so delivered by Dioscorides. And this intent might 
seem most probable, had they not been the wives of holy 
Jacob'; had Rachel presented them unto him, and not re- 
quested them for herself. 

Now what Dioscorides affirmeth in favour of this effect, 
that the grains of the apples of mandrakes mundify the 
matrix, and applied with sulphur stop the fluxes of women, 
he overthrows again by qualities destructive unto conception ; 
affirming also that the juice thereof purge th upward like 
hellebore; and applied in pessaries 6 provokes the menstru- 
ous flows, and procures abortion. Petrus Hispanus, or Pope 
John the Twentieth, speaks more directly in his Thesaurus 
Pauperum : wherein among the receipts of fecundation, he 
experimentally commendeth the wine of mandrakes given 
with triphera magna. But the soul of the medicine may lie 
in triphera magna, an excellent composition, and for this 
effect commended by Nicolaus. And whereas Levinus Lem- 
nius, that eminent physician, doth also concede this effect, it 
is from manifest causes and qualities elemental occasionally 
producing the same. For he impute th the same unto the 
coldness of that simple, and is of opinion that in hot climates, 
and where the uterine parts exceed in heat, by the coldness 
hereof they may be reduced into a conceptive constitution, 
and crasis accommodable unto generation ; whereby indeed 
we will not deny the due and frequent use may proceed unto 
some effect ; from whence, notwithstanding, we cannot infer 
a fertilitating condition or property of fecundation. For in 
this way all vegetables do make fruitful according unto the 
complexion of the matrix ; if that excel in heat, plants ex- 
ceeding in cold do rectify it; if it be cold, simples that are 
hot reduce it ; if dry, moist ; if moist, dry correct it ; in which 
division all plants are comprehended. But to distinguish 
thus much is a point of art, and beyond the method of Ra- 
chel's or feminine physic. Again, whereas it may be thought 
that mandrakes may fecundate, since poppy hath obtained 

pessaries.] Medicines made into an oblong shape. 


the epithet of fruitful, anil that fertility was hieroglyphically 
described by Venus with an head of poppy in her hand ; the 
reason hereof was the multitude of seed within itself, and no 
such multiplying in human generation. And lastly, whereas 
they may seem to have this quality, (since opium itself is con- 
ceived to extimulate unto venery, and for that intent is some- 
times used by Turks, Persians, and most oriental nations,) 
although Winclerus doth seem to favour the conceit, yet 
Amatus Lusitanus, and Rodericus a Castro, are against, it ; 
Garcias ah Horto refutes it from experiment; and they speak 
probably who affirm the intent and effect of eating opium is 
not so much to invigorate themselves in coition, as to prolong 
the act, and spin out the motions of carnality. 


Of the Three Kings of Collein? 

A common conceit there is of the three kings of Collein, con- 
ceived to be the wise men that travelled unto our Saviour by 
the direction of the star. Wherein, (omitting the large dis- 
courses of Baronius, Pineda, and Montacutius,) that they 
might be kings, beside the ancient tradition and authority of 
many fathers, the Scripture implieth ; " The Gentiles shall 
come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. 
The kings of Tharsis and the Isles, the kings of Arabia and 
Saba shall offer gifts." Which places most Christians and 
many rabbins interpret of the Messiah. Not that they are to 
be conceived potent monarchs, or mighty kings, but toparchs, 
kings of cities or narrow territories ; such as were the kings 
of Sodom and Gomorrha, the kings of Jericho and Ai, the 
one and thirty which Joshua subdued, and such as some 
conceive the friends of Job to have been. 

But although we grant they were kings, yet can we not be 
assured they were three. For the Scripture maketh no 

1 Three kings of Collein.] Cologne on the Rhine. 


mention of any number ; and the number of their presents, 
gold, myrrh, and frankincense, concludeth not the number of 
their persons ; for these were the commodities of their coun- 
try, and such as probably the queen of Sheba in one person 
had brought before unto Solomon. So did not the sons of 
Jacob divide the present unto Joseph, but are conceived to 
carry one for them all, according to the expression of their 
father ; " Take of the best fruits of the land in your vessels, 
and carry down the man a present." And therefore their 
number being uncertain, what credit is to be given unto their 
names, Gasper, Melchior, Balthazar, 8 what to the charm 
thereof against the falling sickness, or what unto their 
habits, complexions, and corporal accidents, we must rely on 
their uncertain story, and received portraits of Collein. 

Lastly, although we grant them kings, and three in num- 
ber, yet could we not conceive that they were kings of Col- 
lein. For although Collein were the chief city of the Ubii, 
then called Ubiopolis, and afterwards Agrippina, yet will no 
history inform us there were three kings thereof. Beside, 
these being rulers in their countries, and returning home, 
would have probably converted their subjects ; but according 
unto Munster, their conversion was not wrought until seventy 
years after, by Maternus, a disciple of Peter. And lastly, it 
is said that the wise men came from the east; but Collein is 
seated westward from Jerusalem ; for Collein hath of longi- 
tude thirty-four degrees, but Jerusalem seventy-two. 

The ground of all was this. These wise men or kings 
were probably of Arabia, and descended from Abraham by 
Keturah, who apprehending the mystery of this star, either 
by the Spirit of God, the prophecy of Balaam, the prophecy 

R Gasper, 8$c.~\ According to the fol- - — A writer in the Gentleman's Magazine, 

lowing distich in Festa Anglo-Romana, however, vol. xxxiv, p. 599, refers the 

p. 7 : twelfth night cake to the Roman custom 

t „„ „„„„„ .„ i ,.„™™ ,,-., ,i„ „ <-,,.„is.,„» . of casting dice to decide who should be 
Ires repeg regi regum tria dona tcrenant : p .. 

WyrrUam homini, uncto aurum, thura dedere rex convivii. 

■ De0, It appears from Gentlemayi's Maga- 

Selden says, that " our chusing kings zine, that on twelfth day, 173(5, the king 

and queens, on twelfth night, has refer- and the prince, at the chapel-royal, St. 

ence to the three kings." — Table Talk, James's, made their offerings of gold, 

p. 20. See ajso Universal Magazine, frankincense, and myrrh. These con- 

1774. — Sir II. Piers's Westmeath, 1GS2, tinue to be annually made — by proxy 

in Vallancey's Cellectan. i, No. 1, p. 124. Hone's Every-day Book, vol. i, p. 59. 


which Suetonius mentions, received and constantly believed 
through all the east, that out of Jewry one should come that 
should rule the whole world, or the divulged expectation of 
the Jews from the expiring prediction of Daniel, were by 
the same conducted unto Judea, returned into their country, 
and were after baptized by Thomas. From whence about 
three hundred years after, by Helena, the empress, their 
bodies were translated to Constantinople. From thence 
by Eustatius unto Milan, and at last by Renatus, the bishop, 
unto Collein, where they are believed at present to remain, 
their monuments shewn unto strangers, and having lost their 
Arabian titles, are crowned kings of Collein. 


Of the food of John Baptist, Locusts and Wild Honey. 

Concerning the food of John Baptist in the wilderness, 
locusts and wild honey, less popular opiniatrity should arise, 
we will deliver the chief opinions. The first conceived the 
locusts here mentioned to be that fruit which the Greeks 
name xigunov, mentioned by Luke in the diet of the prodigal 
son, the Latins siliqua, and some pants sancti Johannis, 
included in a broad pod, and indeed a taste almost as plea- 
sant as honey. But this opinion doth not so truly impugn 
that of the locusts, and might rather call unto controversy 
the meaning of wild honey. 

The second affirmeth that they were the tops or tender 
crops of trees ; for so locusla also signifieth. Which conceit 
is plausible in Latin, but will not hold in Greek, fwherein the 
word is axg/V/ ; except for ax^ihiz, we read axgoSgua, or axgif&ovig, 
which signify the extremities of trees, of which belief have 
divers been ; more confidently Isidore Pelusiota, who in his 
epistles plainly affirmeth they think unlearnedly who are of 
another belief. And this so wrought upon Baronius, that he 


concludeth in neutrality ; Hcec cum scribal Isklorus, definien- 
dum nobis non est, et totum relinquimus lectoris arbitrio ; 
nam constat Grcecam dictionem axgidig, et Locustam, insecti 
genus, et arborum summitates signijicare. Sed fallitur, saith 
Montacutius, nam constat contrarium, 'Axyba, apud nullum 
authorem classicum ' A-Aoofyva. signijicare. But above all 
Paracelsus with most animosity promoteth this opinion, and 
in his book De Melle spareth not his friend Erasmus. Hoc a 
nonnullis ita explicatur tit dicant Locustas ant cicadas 
Johanni pro cibo fuisse ; sed hi stultitiam dissimulare non 
possunt, veluti Jeronymus, Erasmus, et alii prophetce neo- 
terici in Latinitate immortui. 

A third affirmeth that they were properly locusts, that is, 
a sheath-winged and six-footed insect, such as is our grass- 
hopper. And this opinion seems more probable than the 
other. 9 For beside the authority of Origen, Jerome, Chry- 
sostom, Hilary, and Ambrose to confirm it, this is the proper 
signification of the word, thus used in Scripture by the 
Septuagint ; Greek vocabularies thus expound it ; Suidas 
on the word 'Axgte observes it to be that animal whereupon 
the Baptist fed in the desert ; in this sense the word is used 
by Aristotle, Dioscorides, Galen, and several human authors. 
And lastly, there is no absurdity in this interpretation, nor 
any solid reason why we should decline it, it being a food 
permitted unto the Jews, whereof four kinds are reckoned 
up among clean meats. Besides, not only the Jews, but many 
other nations, long before and since, have made an usual 
food thereof. That the Ethiopians, Mauritanians, and 
Arabians did commonly eat them, is testified by Diodorus, 
Strabo, Solinus, iElian, and Pliny ; that they still feed on 
them is confirmed by Leo, Cadamustus, and others. John 
therefore, as our Saviour saith, " came neither eating nor 
drinking," that is, far from the diet of Jerusalem and other 

9 and this opinion, fyc.~\ Ross contends loathsome a disease. — Arcana, p. 95. 

against the Dr. for the greater probability There is one species of the acacia 

that John's diet was vegetable — on the tribe called the honey locust, bearing a 

ground that, as the Ethiopians, who large and very sweet pod, which is very 

were accustomed to use locusts for food, commonly boiled and eaten in America; 

almost all fell a prey to phthiriasis, it is and this is supposed to have been the 

scarcely to be believed that John would food of the Baptist, 
have adopted a diet likely to entail so 


riotous places, but fared coarsely and poorly, according unto 
the apparel he wore, that is, of camel's hair ; the place of his 
abode — the wilderness, and the doctrine he preached — humi- 
liation and repentance. 


That John the Evangelist should not die. 

The conceit of the long living, or rather not dying, of John 
the Evangelist, although it seem inconsiderable, and not much 
weightier than that of Joseph, the wandering Jew, yet being 
deduced from Scripture, and abetted by authors of all times, 
it shall not escape our enquiry. It is drawn from the speech 
of our Saviour unto Peter after the prediction of his martyr- 
dom: " Peter saith unto Jesus, Lord, what shall this man do? 
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry until I come, 
what is that to thee? Follow thou me. Then went this 
saying abroad among the brethren, that this disciple should 
not die."* 

Now the belief hereof hath been received either grossly 
and in the general, that is, not distinguishing the manner or 
particular way of this continuation, in which sense probably 
the grosser and undiscerning party received it; or more 
distinctly, apprehending the manner of his immortality, that 
is, that John should never properly die, but be translated into 
Paradise, there to remain with Enoch and Elias until about 
the coming of Christ, and should be slain with them under 
Antichrist, according to that of the Apocalypse ; " I will give 
power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a 
thousand two hundred and threescore days clothed in sack- 
cloth ; and when they shall have finished their testimony, 
the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make 
war against them, and overcome them and kill them." Here- 
of, as Baronius observeth, within three hundred years after 

* John xxi. 


Christ, Hippolytus the martyr was the first assertor, but hath 
been maintained by Metaphrastes, by Freculphus, but espe- 
cially by Georgius Trapezuntius, who hath expressly treated 
upon this text, and although he lived but in the last century, 
did still affirm that John was not yet dead. 

The same is also hinted by the learned Italian Poet Dante, 
who in his poetical survey of Paradise, meeting with the soul 
of St. John, and desiring to see his body, received answer 
from him, that his body was in earth, and there should remain 
with other bodies until the number of the blessed were 
accomplished. 1 

In terra e terra il mio corpo, et saragli 
Tanto con gli altri, chel' numero nostro 
Con 1' elerno proposito s' agguagli. 

As for the gross opinion that he should not die, it is suffi- 
ciently refuted by that which first occasioned it, that is, the 
Scripture itself, and no further off than the very subsequent 
verse ; " Yet Jesus said not unto him, he should not die, but 
if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee ?" And 
this was written by John himself, whom the opinion concerned, 
and (as is conceived) many years after, when Peter had 
suffered and fulfilled the prophecy of Christ. 

For the particular conceit, the foundation is weak, nor can 
it be made out from the text alleged in the Apocalypse ; for, 
beside that therein two persons only are named, no mention 
is made of John, a third actor in this tragedy. The same is 
also overthrown by history, which recordeth not only the 
death of John, but assigneth the place of his burial, that is, 
Ephesus, a city in Asia Minor ; whither, after he had been 
banished into Patmos by Domitian, he returned in the reign 
of Nerva, there deceased, and was buried in the days of 
Trajan. And this is testified by Jerome, by Tertullian, by 
Chrysostom, and Eusebius,* (in whose days his sepulchre was 
to be seen,) and by a more ancient testimony alleged also by 
him, that is, of Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus, not many suc- 

* Be Scriptor. Ecclcsiast. Be anima. 

1 The same is also hinted, 8fC.~\ This tation which follows it, was first added 
paragraph, together with the Italian quo- in the 6th edition. 


cessions after John ; whose words are these, in an epistle 
unto Victor, Bishop of Rome : Johannes ille qui supra pec- 
tus domini recumbebat, doctor optimus, apud Ephesum dor- 
mivit. Many of the like nature are noted by Baronius, 
Jansenius, Estius, Lipellous, and others. 

Now the main and primitive ground of this error was a 
gross mistake in the words of Christ, and a false apprehen- 
sion of his meaning ; understanding that positively which was 
but conditionally expressed, or receiving that affirmatively 
which was but concessively delivered. For the words of our 
Saviour run in a doubtful strain, rather reprehending than 
satisfying the curiosity of Peter : as though he should have 
said, " thou hast thy own doom, why enquirest thou after thy 
brother's? — what relief unto thy affliction will be the society 
of another's? — why pryest thou into the secrets of God's 
will ? — if he stay until I come, what concerneth it thee, who 
shalt be sure to suffer before that time ? " And such an 
answer probably he returned, because he foreknew John 
should not suffer a violent death, but go unto his grave in 
peace. Which had Peter assuredly known, it might have 
cast some water on his flames, and smothered those fires 
which kindled after unto the honour of his Master. 

Now why among all the rest John only escaped the death 
of a martyr, the reason is given ; because all others fled away 
or withdrew themselves at his death, and he alone of the 
twelve beheld his passion on the cross. Wherein notwith- 
standing, the affliction that he suffered could not amount 
unto less than martyrdom : for if the naked relation, at least 
the intentive consideration of that passion, be able still, and 
at this disadvantage of time, to rend the hearts of pious con- 
templators, surely the near and sensible vision thereof must 
needs occasion agonies beyond the comprehension of flesh ; 
and the trajections of such an object more sharply pierce 
the martyred soul of John, than afterwards did the nails 
the crucified body of Peter. 

Again, they were mistaken in the emphatical apprehension, 
placing the consideration upon the words, " If I will," whereas 
it properly lay in these, " until I come." Which had they 
apprehended, as some have since, that is, not for his ultimate 

y 2 


and last return, but his coming in judgment and destruction 
upon the Jews ; or such a coming, as it might be said, that 
generation should not pass before it was fulfilled ; they need- 
ed not, much less need we, suppose such diuturnity. For 
after the death of Peter, John lived to behold the same ful- 
filled by Vespasian : nor had he then his nunc dimitlis, or 
went out like unto Simeon ; but old in accomplished obscuri- 
ties, and having seen the expire of Daniel's prediction, as 
some conceive, he accomplished his revelation. 

But besides this original and primary foundation, divers 
others have made impressions according unto different ages 
and persons by whom they were received. For some estab- 
lished the conceit in the disciples and brethren which were 
contemporary unto him, or lived about the same time with 
him. And this was, first, the extraordinary affection our 
Saviour bare unto this disciple, who hath the honour to be 
called the disciple whom Jesus loved : now from hence they 
might be apt to believe their Master would dispense with his 
death, or suffer him to live to see him return in glory, who was 
the only apostle that beheld him to die in dishonour. Another 
was the belief and opinion of those times, that Christ would 
suddenly come ; for they held not generally the same opinion 
with their successors, or as descending ages after so many 
centuries, but conceived his coming would not be long after 
his passion, according unto several expressions of our Saviour 
grossly understood, and as we find the same opinion not long 
after reprehended by St. Paul: * and thus, conceiving his com- 
ing would not be long, they might be induced to believe his 
favourite should live unto it. Lastly, the long life of John 
might much advantage this opinion ; for he survived the other 
twelve — he was aged twenty-two years when he was called 
by Christ, and twenty-five (that is the age of priesthood) at 
his death, and lived ninety-three years, that is sixty-eight 
after his Saviour, and died not before the second year of 
Trajan : now, having out-lived all his fellows, the world was 
confirmed he might still live, and even unto the coming of his 

The grounds which promoted it in succeeding ages, were 

* 2 Thess. ii. 


especially two. The first his escape of martyrdom ; for 
whereas all the rest suffered some kind of forcible death, we 
have no history that he suffered any; and men might think 
he was not capable thereof; for as history informeth, by the 
command of Domitian he was cast into a caldron of burning- 
oil, and came out again unsinged. Now future ages appre- 
hending he suffered no violent death, and finding also the 
means that tended thereto could take no place, they might be 
confirmed in their opinion, that death had no power over 
him ; that he might live always, who could not be destroyed 
by fire, and was able to resist the fury of that element which 
nothing shall resist. The second was a corruption, crept into 
the Latin text, for si reading sic eum manere volo ; whereby 
the answer of our Saviour becometh positive, or that he will 
have it so ; which way of reading was much received in former 
ages, and is still retained in the vulgar translation : but in the 
Greek and original the word is sav, signifying si or if, which 
is very different from ovrco, and cannot be translated for 
it : and answerable hereunto is the translation of Junius, 
and that also annexed unto the Greek by the authority of 
Sixtus Quintus. 

The third confirmed it in ages farther descending, and 
proved a powerful argument unto all others following — be- 
cause in his tomb at Ephesus there was no corpse or relick 
thereof to be found ; whereupon arose divers doubts, and 
many suspicious conceptions ; some believing he was not bu- 
ried, some that he was buried but risen again, others, that 
he descended alive into his tomb, and from thence departed 
after. But all these proceeded upon unveritable grounds, as 
Baronius hath observed ; who allegeth a letter of Celestine, 
Bishop of Rome, unto the council of Ephesus, wherein he 
declareth the relicks of John were highly honoured by that 
city ; and a passage also of Chrysostom in the homilies of the 
apostles, " That John being dead, did cures in Ephesus, as 
though he were still alive." And so I observe that Estius, 
discusing this point, concludeth hereupon, quod corpus ejus 
nunquam reperiatur, hoc non dicerent si veterum scripta dili- 
genter perlustr assent. 

Now that the first ages after Christ, those succeeding, or 


any other, should proceed into opinions so far divided from 
reason, as to think of immortality after the fall of Adam, or 
conceit a man in these later times should out-live our fathers 
in the first, — although it seem very strange, yet is it not in- 
credible. For the credulity of men hath been deluded into 
the like conceits ; and, as Irenseus and Tertullian mention, 
one Menander, a Samaritan, obtained belief in this very point, 
whose doctrine it was, that death should have no power on 
his disciples, and such as received his baptism should receive 
immortality therewith. 'T was surely an apprehension very 
strange ; nor usually falling either from the absurdities of 
melancholy or vanities of ambition. Some indeed have been 
so affectedly vain, as to counterfeit immortality, and have 
stolen their death, in a hope to be esteemed immortal ; and 
others have conceived themselves dead : but surely few or 
none have fallen upon so bold an error, as not to think that 
they could die at all. The reason of those mighty ones, 
whose ambition could suffer them to be called gods, would 
never be flattered into immortality ; but the proudest thereof 
have by the daily dictates of corruption convinced the impro- 
priety of that appellation. And surely, although delusion 
may run high, and possible it is that for a while a man may 
forget his nature, yet cannot this be durable. For the incon- 
cealable imperfections of ourselves, or their daily examples in 
others, will hourly prompt us our corruption, and loudly tell 
us we are the sons of earth. 


Of some others more briefly. 

Many others there are which we resign unto divinity, and 
perhaps deserve not controversy. Whether David were 
punished only for pride of heart for numbering the people, as 
most do hold, or whether, as Josephus and many maintain, he 
suffered also for not performing the commandment of God 


concerning capitation, that when the people were numbered, 
for every head they should pay unto God a shekel,* — we 
shall not here contend. Surely if it were not the occasion 
of this plague, we must acknowledge the omission thereof 
was threatened with that punishment, according to the words 
of the law. " When thou takest the sum of the children 
of Israel, then shall they give every man a ransom for his 
soul unto the Lord, that there be no plague amongst them."f 
Now how deeply hereby God was defrauded in the time of 
David, and opulent state of Israel, will easily appear by the 
sums of former lustrations. For in the first, the silver of 
them that were numbered was an hundred talents, and a 
thousand seven hundred and threescore and fifteen shekels ; 
a bekah for every man, that is, half a shekel, after the shekel 
of the sanctuary; for every one from twenty years old and 
upwards, for six hundred thousand, and three thousand and 
five hundred and fifty men. Answerable whereto we read in 
Josephus, Vespasian ordered that every man of the Jews 
should bring into the Capitol two drachms ; which amounts 
unto fifteen pence, or a quarter of an ounce of silver with us ; 
and is equivalent unto a bekah, or half a shekel of the sanc- 
tuary. For an Attick drachm is seven-pence half-penny or a 
quarter of a shekel, and a didrachmum, or double drachm, is 
the word used for tribute money, or half a shekel; and a stater, 
the money found in the fish's mouth, was two didrachmums, 
or a whole shekel, and tribute sufficient for our Saviour and 
for Peter. 

We will not question the metamorphosis of Lot's wife, or 
whether she were transformed into a real statue of salt : 
though some conceive that expression metaphorical, 2 and no 

* Exod. xxx. f Exod. xxxviii. 

- We will not question, eye] Dr. contradictory stories (he remarks,) have 

Adam Clarke has given a long note on been told, of the discovery of Lot's wife 

this question, to which the reader is still remaining unchanged — and indeed 

referred. He enumerates in addition to uncliangeahle, — her form having still resi- 

Browne's two hypotheses, a third: — viz. dent in it a continual miraculous energy, 

that, by continuing in the plain, she reproductive of any part which is broken 

might have been struck dead with light- off: so that though multitudes of visitors 

ning, and enveloped and invested in the have brought away each a morsel, yet 

bituminous and sulphurous matter which does the next find the figure — complete ! 

descended. But Dr. C. evidently in- The author of the poem De Sodoma, 

clines to accept the metaphorical inter- at the end of Tertullian's works, and 

pretation. A number of absurd and with him, Irenaeus, asserts the figure 


more thereby than a lasting and durable column, according to 
the nature of salt, which admitteth no corruption ; 3 in which 
sense the covenant of God is termed a covenant of salt ; and 
it is also said, God gave the kingdom unto David for ever, 
or by a covenant of salt. 

That Absalom was hanged by the hair of the head, and 
not caught up by the neck, as Josephus conceiveth, and the 
common argument against long hair affirmeth, we are not 
ready to deny. Although I confess a great and learned 
party there are of another opinion ; although if he had his 
morion or helmet on, I could not well conceive it ; although 
the translation of Jerome or Tremellius do not prove it, and 
our own seems rather to overthrow it. 

That Judas hanged himself, — much more that he perished 
thereby, — we shall not raise a doubt. 4 Although Jansenius, 
discoursing the point, produceth the testimony of Theophy- 
lact and Euthymius, that he died not by the gallows, but un- 
der a cart wheel ; and Baronius also delivereth, this was the 
opinion of the Greeks, and derived as high as Papias, one of 
the disciples of John. Although also how hardly the ex- 
pression of Matthew is reconcileable unto that of Peter, — and 
that he plainly hanged himself, with that, that falling head- 
long he burst asunder in the midst, — with many other the 
learned Grotius plainly doth acknowledge. And lastly, al- 
though as he also urgeth, the word a^y^aro in Matthew doth 
not only signify suspension or pendulous illaqueation, as the 
common picture describeth it, but also suffocation, strangula- 
tion or interception of breath, which may arise from grief, 
despair, and deep dejection of spirit, in which sense it is used 
in the history of Tobit concerning Sara, tkutrySq 6<p6Bga wcrre 

to possess certain indications of a re- in vain, and it is now very generally 

maining portion of animal life, and the admitted, either that the statue does not 

latter father in the height of his absur- exist — or that some of the blocks of 

dity, makes her an emblem of the true rock-salt met with in the vicinity of the 

church, which, though she suffers much, Dead Sea — are the only remains of it. 
and often loses whole members, yet 3 which, iyc] Itt admitteth noe corrup- 

preserves the pillar of salt, that is, the tion in other things, but itselfe suffers li- 

foundation of the true faith !! Josephus quation, and corruption too, that is, looses 

asserts that he himself saw the pillar, its savour, as appears by that rcmark- 

S. Clement also says that Lot's wife was able speech of our Saviour, Marc, ix, 50. 

remaining, even at that time, as a pillar — Jl'r. 

of salt. Recent and more respectable '' That Judas, fyc. ] See vol. ii, p. 33, 

travellers however have sought for her note 2. 


d^dy'^aGdai, Jta tristata est ut strangulatione premeretur, 
saith Junius ; and so might it happen from the horror of 
mind unto Judas.* So do many of the Hebrews affirm, 
that Achitophel was also strangled, that is not from the rope, 
but passion. For the Hebrew and Arabic word in the text, 
not only signifies suspension, but indignation, as Grotius hath 
also observed. 

Many more there are of indifferent truths, whose dubious 
expositions worthy divines and preachers do often draw 
into wholesome and sober uses, whereof we shall not speak. 
With industry we decline such paradoxes and peaceably 
submit unto their received acceptions. 


Of the Cessation of Oracles. 

That oracles ceased or grew mute at the coming of Christ, 5 
is best understood in a qualified sense, and not without all lati- 
tude, as though precisely there were none after, nor any 
decay before. For (what we must confess unto relations of 
antiquity,) some pre-decay is observable from that of Cicero, 
urged by Baronius ; Cur isto modo jam oracula Delphis 
non eduntur, non modo estate, sed jam dm, ut nihil possit esse 
contemptius. That during his life they were not altogether 
dumb, is deducible from Suetonius in the life of Tiberius, 
who attempting to subvert the oracles adjoining unto Rome, 
was deterred by the lots or chances which were delivered at 
PraBneste. After his death we meet with many ; Suetonius 
reports, that the oracle of Antium forewarned Caligula to 
beware of Cassius, who was one that conspired his death. 

* Strangulat inclusus dolor. 

5 That oracles ceased, <yc] On the sub- Oracles, vol. iv, p. 226, note 5. Browne 

ject of this very curious chapter, see a betrays, throughout, his full belief in the 

passage in Rcl. Med. with a note thereon, supernatural and Satanic character of 

vol. ii, p. 42, note 3 : — and the Tract on oracles. 


Plutarch enquiring why the oracles of Greece ceased, ex- 
cepteth that of Lebadia : and in the same place Demetrius 
affirmeth the oracles of Mopsus and Amphilochus were 
much frequented in his days. In brief, histories are fre- 
quent in examples, and there want not some even to the reign 
of Julian. 

What therefore may consist with history ; — by cessation 
of oracles, with Montacutius, we may understand their inter- 
cision, not abscission or consummate desolation ; their rare 
delivery, not total dereliction : and yet in regard of divers 
oracles, we may speak strictly, and say there was a proper 
cessation. Thus may we reconcile the accounts of times, and 
allow those few and broken divinations, whereof we read in 
story and undeniable authors. For that they received this 
blow from Christ, and no other causes alleged by the 
heathens, from oraculous confession they cannot deny ; 
whereof upon record there are some very remarkable. The 
first that oracle of Delphos delivered unto Augustus. 

Me puer Hebraeus Divos Deus ipse guberaans, 
Cedere sede jubet, tristemque rediresub orcum; 
Aris ergo dehinc tacitus discedito nostris. 

An Hebrew child, a God all gods excelling, 
To Hell again commands me from this dwelling : 
Our altars leave in silence, and no more 
A resolution e'er from hence implore. 

A second recorded by Plutarch, of a voice that was heard 
to cry unto mariners at the sea, Great Pan is dead; which is 
a relation very remarkable, and may be read in his defect of 
oracles. A third reported by Eusebius in the life of his 
magnified Constantine, that about that time Apollo mourned, 
declaring his oracles were false, and that the righteous upon 
earth did hinder him from speaking truth. And a fourth 
related by Theodoret, and delivered by Apollo Daphneus 
unto Julian, upon his Persian expedition, that he should 
remove the bodies about him before he could return an an- 
swer, and not long after his temple was burnt with lightning. 

All which were evident and convincing acknowledgments 
of that power which shut his lips, and restrained that delu- 
sion which had reigned so many centuries. But as his malice is 
vigilant, and the sins of men do still continue a toleration of 


his mischiefs, he resteth not, nor will he ever cease to circum- 
vent the sons of the first deceived. And therefore, expelled 
from oracles and solemn temples of delusion, he runs into 
corners, exercising minor trumperies, and acting his deceits 
in witches, magicians, diviners, and such inferior seducers. 
And yet (what is deplorable) while we apply ourselves thereto, 
and, affirming that God hath left off to speak by his prophets, 
expect in doubtful matters a resolution from such spirits ; 
while we say the devil is mute, yet confess that these can 
speak ; while we deny the substance, yet practise the effect, 
and in the denied solemnity maintain the equivalent efficacy ; 
— in vain we cry that oracles are down ; Apollo's altar still 
doth smoke ; nor is the fire of Delphos out unto this day. 

Impertinent it is unto our intention to speak in general of 
oracles, and many have well performed it. The plainest of 
others was that of Apollo Delphicus, recorded by Herodotus, 
and delivered unto Croesus ; who as a trial of their omnis- 
cience sent unto distant oracles : and so contrived with the 
messengers, that though in several places, yet at the same 
time they should demand what Croesus was then a doing. 
Among all others the oracle of Delphos only hit it, returning 
answer, he was boiling a lamb with a tortoise, in a brazen 
vessel, with a cover of the same metal. The stile is haughty 
in Greek, though somewhat lower in Latin. 

jEquoris est spatium et numerus mihi notus arense, 
Mutum percipio, fantis nihil audio vocem. 
Venit ad hos sensus nidor testudinis acris, 
Qua semel agnina coquitur cum carne labete, 
Aeve infra strato, et stratum cui desuper ees est. 

I know the space of sea, the number of the sand, 
I hear the silent, mute I understand. 
A tender lamb joined with tortoise flesh, 
Thy master, King of Lydia, now doth dress. 
The scent thereof doth in my nostrils hover, 
From brazen pot closed with brazen cover. 

Hereby indeed he acquired much wealth and more honour, 
and was reputed by Croesus as a deity : and yet not long- 
after, by a vulgar fallacy he deceived his favourite and great- 
est friend of oracles, into an irreparable overthrow by Cyrus. 
And surely the same success are likely all to have, that rely 


or depend upon him. 'T was the first play he practised on 
mortality ; and as time hath rendered him more perfect in 
the art, so hath the inveterateness of his malice more ready 
in the execution. 'T is therefore the sovereign degree of 
folly, and a crime not only against God, but also our own rea- 
sons, to expect a favour from the devil, whose mercies are 
more cruel than those of Polyphemus ; for he devours his 
favourites first, and the nearer a man approacheth, the sooner 
he is scorched by Moloch. In brief, his favours are deceit- 
ful and double-headed, he doth apparent good, for real and 
convincing evil after it ; and exalteth us up to the top of the 
temple, but to tumble us down from it. 


Of the Death of Aristotle. 

That Aristotle drowned himself in Euripus, as despairing to 
resolve the cause of its reciprocation, or ebb and flow seven 
times a day, with this determination, Si quidem ego non capio 
te, tu copies me, was the assertion of Procopius, Nazianzen, 
Justin Martyr, and is generally believed among us. Wherein 
because we perceive men have but an imperfect knowledge, 
some conceiving Euripus to be a river, others not knowing 
where or in what part to place it, we first advertise, it gene- 
rally signifleth any strait, fret, or channel of the sea, running 
between two shores, as Julius Pollux hath defined it ; as we 
read of Euripus Hellespontiacus, Pyrrhaeus, and this whereof 
we treat, Euripus Euboicus, or Chalcidicus, that is, a nar- 
row passage of sea dividing Attica, and the island of Eubcea, 
now called Golfo di Negroponte, from the name of the 
island and chief city thereof, famous in the wars of Antiochus, 
and taken from the Venetians by Mahomet the Great. 

Now that in this Euripe or fret of Negroponte, and upon 
the occasion mentioned, Aristotle drowned himself, as many 
affirm, and almost all believe, we have some room to doubt. 


For without any mention of this, we find two ways delivered 
of his death by Diogenes Laertius, who expressly treateth 
thereof; the one from Eumolus and Phavorinus, that being 
accused of impiety for composing an hymn unto Hermias, 
(upon whose concubine he begat his son Nicomachus,) he 
withdrew into Chalcis, where drinking poison he died ; the 
hymn is extant in Laertius, and the fifteenth book of Athe- 
naeus. Another by Apollodorus, 6 that he died at Chalcis of 
a natural death and languishment of stomach, in his sixty- 
third, or great climacterical year ; and answerable hereto is 
the account of Suidas and Censorinus. And if that were 
clearly made out, which Rabbi Ben Joseph affirmeth he 
found in an Egyptian book of Abraham Sapiens Perizol, that 
Aristotle acknowledged all that was written in the law of 
Moses, and became at last a proselyte, it would also make 
improbable this received way of his death.* 7 

Again, beside the negative of authority, it is also deniable 
by reason ; nor will it be easy to obtrude such desperate 
attempts upon Aristotle, from unsatisfaction of reason, who so 
often acknowledged the imbecility thereof. Who in matters 
of difficulty, and such which were not without abstrusities, 
conceived it sufficient to deliver conjecturalities. And surely 
he that could sometimes sit down with high improbabili- 
ties, that could content himself, and think to satisfy others, 
that the variegation of birds was from their living in the sun, 
or erection made by delibration of the testicles ; would not 
have been dejected unto death with this. He that was so 
well acquainted with y Sri and vongov, utrum and an quia, as we 
observe in the queries of his problems, with hug and lit) rb voXu, 
fortasse and plerumque, as is observable through all his 
works, had certainly rested with probabilities, and glancing 
conjectures in this. Nor would his resolutions have ever run 
into that mortal antanaclasis, and desperate piece of rheto- 
rick, to be comprised in that he could not comprehend. Nor 
is it indeed to be made out, that he ever endeavoured the par- 

* Licetus de Qucesitis. Epist. 

6 another, %c] The most probable ' And if that, #c] First added in the 
account. 2nd edition. 


ticular of Euripus, or so much as to resolve the ebb and flow 
of the sea. For, as Vicomercatus and others observe, he 
hath made no mention hereof in his works, although the 
occasion present itself in his Meteors, wherein he disputeth 
the affections of the sea ; nor yet in his Problems, although 
in the twenty-third section there be no less than one and 
forty queries of the sea. Some mention there is indeed in a 
work of the propriety of elements, ascribed unto Aristotle ; * 
which notwithstanding is not reputed genuine, and was per- 
haps the same whence this was urged by Plutarch. 

Lastly, the thing itself whereon the opinion dependeth, 
that is, the variety of the flux and the reflux of Euripus, or 
whether the same do ebb and flow seven times a day, is not 
incontrovertible. For though Pomponius Mela, and after 
him Solinus and Pliny have affirmed it, yet I observe Thucy- 
dides, who speaketh often of Eubcea, hath omitted it. Pau- 
sanius an ancient writer, who hath left an exact description 
of Greece, and in as particular a way as Leandro of Italy, 
or Camden of great Britain, describing not only the country 
towns and rivers, but hills, springs, and houses, hath left no 
mention hereof. /Eschines in Ctesiphon only alludeth unto 
it ; and Strabo that accurate geographer speaks warily of it, 
that is, w; <pu<sl, and as men commonly reported. And so doth 
also Maginus, Velocis ac varii Jluctus est mare, ub'i quater in 
die, aid scpties, ut alii dicunt, reciprocantur cestus. Botero 
more plainly, // mar cresce e cala con un impeto mirabile 
qnatra volte il di, ben die communimente si dica sette volte, 
&fc. " this sea with wondrous impetuosity ebbeth and floweth 
four times a day, although it be commonly said seven times ; 
and generally opinioned, that Aristotle despairing of the 
reason, drowned himself therein." In which description by 
four times a day, it exceeds not in number the motion of other 
seas, taking the words properly, that is twice ebbing and 
twice flowing in four and twenty hours. And is no more than 
what Thomaso Porrchachi affirmeth in his description of 
famous islands, that twice a day it hath such an impetuous 
flood, as is not without wonder. Livy speaks more particu- 

* De placitis Pkilosophorum. 


larly, Haud facile infestior classi statio est et J return ipsum 
Euripi, non septies die (sicut Jama fert) temporibus certis 
reciprocat, sed temere in modum venti, nunc hunc nunc illuc 
verso tnari, velut monte prcecipiti devolutus tor r ens rapitur : 
" there is hardly a worse harbour, the fret or channel of 
Euripus not certainly ebbing or flowing seven times a day, 
according to common report : but being uncertainly, and in 
the manner of a wind carried hither and thither, is whirled 
away as a torrent down a hill." But the experimental testi- 
mony of Gillius is most considerable of any ; who having 
beheld the course thereof, and made enquiry of millers that 
dwelt upon its shore, received answer, that it ebbed and 
flowed four times a day, that is, every six hours, according 
to the law of the ocean ; but that indeed sometimes it ob- 
served not that certain course. And this irregularity, though 
seldom happening, together with its unruly and tumultuous 
motion, might afford a beginning unto the common opinion. 
Thus may the expression in Ctesiphon be made out. And 
by this may Aristotle be interpreted, when in his problems 
he seems to borrow a metaphor from Euripus ; while in the 
five and twentieth section he enquireth, why in the upper 
parts of houses the air doth Euripize, that is, is whirled 
hither and thither. 

A later and experimental testimony is to be found in the 
travels of Monsieur Duloir ; who about twenty years ago, 
remained sometime at Negroponte, or old Chalcis, and also 
passed and repassed this Euripus ; who thus expresseth 
himself. " I wonder much at the error concerning the flux 
and reflux of Euripus ; and I assure you that opinion is false. 
I gave a boatman a crown, to set me in a convenient place, 
where for a whole day I might observe the same. It ebbeth 
and floweth by six hours, even as it doth at Venice, but the 
course thereof is vehement." 8 

Now that which gave life unto the assertion, might be his 
death at Chalcis, the chief city of Eubcea, and seated upon 
Euripus, where 'tis confessed by all he ended his days. 
That he emaciated and pined away in the too anxious en- 

8 A later and experimental, S i -c.~\ First added in Gth edition. 


quiry of its reciprocations, although not drowned therein, as 
Rhodiginus relateth some conceived, was a half confession 
thereof not justifiable from antiquity. Surely the philosophy 
of flux and reflux was very imperfect of old among the 
Greeks and Latins ; nor could they hold a sufficient theory 
thereof, who only observed the Mediterranean, which in 
some places hath no ebb, and not much in any part. Nor 
can we affirm our knowledge is at the height, who have now 
the theory of the ocean and narrow seas beside. While we 
refer it unto the moon, we give some satisfaction for the 
ocean, but no general salve for creeks and seas which know 
no flood ; nor resolve why it flows three or four feet at Venice 
in the bottom of the gulph, yet scarce at all at Ancono, 
Durazzo, or Corcyra, which lie but by the way. And there- 
fore old abstrusities have caused new inventions ; and some 
from the hypotheses of Copernicus, or the diurnal and an- 
nual motion of the earth, endeavour to salve the flows and 
motions of these seas, illustrating the same by water in a 
bowl, that rising or falling to either side, according to the 
motion of the vessel ; the conceit is ingenious, salves some 
doubts and is discovered at large by Galileo.* 9 

But whether the received principle and undeniable action 
of the moon may not be still retained, although in some dif- 
ference of application, is yet to be perpended ; that is not by 
a simple operation upon the surface or superior parts, but 
excitation of the nitro- sulphureous spirits, and parts disposed 
to intumescency at the bottom ; not by attenuation of the 
upper part of the sea, (whereby ships would draw more 
water at the flow than at the ebb) but inturgescencies caused 
first at the bottom, and carrying the upper part before them; 
subsiding and falling again, according to the motion of the 
moon from the meridian, and languor of the exciting cause : 
and therefore rivers and lakes who want these fermenting 
parts at the bottom, are net excited unto actuations ; and 
therefore some seas flow higher than others, according to the 

* Rog. Bac. Doct. Cabeus Met. 2. 

9 and is discovered at large by Gali- his booke, Be Fltuu et Refluxu Maris, 
leo.] And by the Lord Bacon rejected in — Wr. 


plenty of these spirits, in their submarine constitutions. And 
therefore also the periods of flux and reflux are various, nor 
their increase or decrease equal : according to the temper of 
the terreous parts at the bottom ; which as they are more 
hardly or easily moved, do variously begin, continue or end 
their intumescencies. 

From the peculiar disposition of the earth at the bottom, 
wherein quick excitations are made, may arise those agars 9 
and impetuous flows in some estuaries and rivers, as is ob- 
served about Trent and Humber in' England; which may 
also have some effect in the boisterous tides of Euripus, not 
only from ebullitions at the bottom, but also from the sides 
and lateral parts, driving the streams from either side, which 
arise or fall according to the motion in those parts, and the 
intent or remiss operation of the first exciting causes, which 
maintain their activities above and below the horizon ; even 
as they do in the bodies of plants and animals, and in the 
commotion of catarrhs. 1 

How therefore Aristotle died, what was his end. or upon 
what occasion, although it be not altogether assured, yet that 
his memory and worthy name shall live, no man will deny, 
nor grateful scholar doubt. And, if according to the elogy 
of Solon, a man may be only said to be happy after he is 
dead, and ceaseth to be in the visible capacity of beatitude; 
or if according unto his own ethicks, sense is not essential 
unto felicity, but a man may be happy without the apprehen- 
sion thereof ; surely in that sense he is pyramidally happy ; 
nor can he ever perish but in the Euripe of ignorance, nor till 
the torrent of barbarism overwhelmeth all. 

A like conceit there passeth of Melisigenes, alias Homer, 
the father poet, that he pined away upon the riddle of the 
fishermen. But Herodotus who wrote his life hath cleared 
this point ; delivering, that passing from Samos unto Athens, 
he went sick ashore upon the island los, where he died, and 
was solemnly interred upon the sea side ; and so decidingly 

s agar.] The tumultuous influx of fyc. From the peculiar, #c] These two 
the tide. paragraphs were first added in the 2nd 

1 But whether, the received principle, edition. 



concludeth, Ex hac tsgritudine extremum diem clausit Ho- 
merus in Io, non, ut arbitrantur aliqui, cenigmatis perplexi- 
tate enectus, sed morbo. 


Of the Wish of Philoxenus, to have the Neck of a Crane. 

That relation of Aristotle, and conceit generally received, con- 
cerning Philoxenus, who wished the neck of a crane, that 
thereby he might take more pleasure in his meat, although 
it pass without exception, upon enquiry I find not only 
doubtful in the story, but absurd in the desire or reason 
alleged for it. 2 For though his wish were such as is delivered, 
yet had it not perhaps that end to delight his gust in eating, 
but rather to obtain advantage thereby in singing, as is 
declared by Mirandula. Aristotle, saith he, in his EthicJcs 
and Problems, accuseth Philoxenus of sensuality, for the 
greater pleasure of gust desiring the neck of a crane, which 
desire of his (assenting unto Aristotle), I have formerly con- 
demned. But since I perceive that Aristotle for his accusa- 
tion hath been accused by divers writers ; — for Philoxenus 
was an excellent musician, and desired the neck of a crane, 
not for any pleasure at meat, but fancying thereby an advan- 
tage in singing or warbling, and dividing the notes in music ; 
— and many writers there are which mention a musician of that 
name ; as Plutarch in his book against Usury, and Aristotle 
himself, in the eighth of his Politicks, speaks of one Philoxenus, 

2 That relation, fyc."] Our author's expressed, seeing that many have enter- 
observations on this absurd story are tained wishes far more so. But he even 
quoted by Dr. John Bulwer, in his asserts its reasonableness, " that there 
Anthropomclamorphosis, &c. p. 276. is much pleasure in deglutition of sweet 

Ross goes into the history of Philoxe- meats and drinks, is plain by the practice 

nus at great length, and adheres, as of those who, to supply the want of long 

usual, most tenaciously to the legend, necks, used to suck their drink out of 

He contends, and with some reason, long small cranes, or quills, or glasses 

that the absurdity of the wish, if granted, with long narrow snouts, &c. &c ! ! " 
were no argument against its having been 


a musician, that went off from the Dorick dithyrambics unto 
the Phrygian harmony. 

Again, be the story true or false, rightly applied or not, 
the intention is not reasonable, and that perhaps neither one 
way nor the other. For if we rightly consider the organ of 
taste, we shall find the length of the neck to conduce but 
little unto it ; for the tongue being the instrument of taste, and 
the tip thereof the most exact distinguisher, it will not ad- 
vantage the gust to have the neck extended ; wherein the 
gullet and conveying parts are only seated, which partake 
not of the nerves of gustation, or appertaining unto sapor, 
but receive them only from the sixth pair; whereas the 
nerves of taste descend from the third and fourth propagations, 
and so diffuse themselves into the tongue; and therefore 
cranes, herons, and swans, have no advantage in taste beyond 
hawks, kites, and others of shorter necks. 

Nor, if we consider it, had nature respect unto the taste 
in the different contrivance of necks, but rather unto the 
parts contained, the composure of the rest of the body, and 
the manner whereby they feed. Thus animals of long legs 
have generally long necks, that is, for the conveniency of 
feeding, as having a necessity to apply their mouths unto the 
earth. So have horses, camels, dromedaries, long necks, and 
all tall animals, except the elephant, who in defect thereof 
is furnished with a trunk, without which he could not attain 
the ground. So have cranes, herons, storks, and shovelards 
long necks ; and so even in man, whose figure is erect, the 
length of the neck followeth the proportion of other parts ; 
and such as have round faces or broad chests and shoulders, 
have very seldom long necks. For the length of the face 
twice exceedeth that of the neck, and the space between the 
throat-pit and the navel, is equal unto the circumference 
thereof. Again, animals are framed with long necks, accord- 
ing unto the course of their life or feeding ; so many with 
short legs have long necks, because they feed in the water, 
as swans, geese, pelicans, and other fin-footed animals. 3 
But hawks and birds of prey have short necks and trussed 

3 fin-footed animals.'] Wee usually call with the use more significantlye. — Wr. 
them lether-footed,* but this terme suites * Web-footed rather. 

Z 2 


legs ; for that which is long is weak and flexible, and a 
shorter figure is best accommodated unto that intention. 
Lastly, the necks of animals do vary, according to the parts 
that are contained in them, which are the weazand and the 
gullet. Such as have no weazand and breathe not, have scarce 
any neck, as most sort of fishes ; and some none at all, 
as all sorts of pectinals, soals, thornback, flounders, and all 
crustaceous animals, as crevises, 4 crabs, and lobsters. 

All which considered, the wish of Philoxenus will hardly 
consist with reason. More excusable had it been to have 
wished himself an ape, 5 which if common conceit speak true, 
is exacter in taste than any. Rather some kind of grani- 
vorous bird than a crane, for in this sense they are so exquisite, 
that upon the first peck of their bill, they can distinguish the 
qualities of hard bodies, which the sense of man discerns not 
without mastication. Rather some ruminating animal, that 
he might have eat his meat twice over ; or rather, as Theo- 
philus observed in Athenaeus, his desire had been more 
reasonable, had he wished himself an elephant or a horse; 
for in these animals the appetite is more vehement, and they 
receive their viands in large and plenteous manner. And this 
indeed had been more suitable, if this were the same Phi- 
loxenus whereof Plutarch speaketh, who was so uncivilly 
greedy, that, to engross the mess, 6 he would preventively 
deliver his nostrils in the dish. 7 

4 crevises.] Now called cray-fish. his own. His neighbour, perceiving his 

5 an ape.] I thinke an ape is more own chance thus demolished, expostu- 
exacte in the smel then in the taste: lated ; and was told in reply of the 
for he never tastes that which hee first virtues of pepper, as the only thing to 
smels not too. And how pleasant soever make green peas wholesome. He instantly 
any food seeme to us, yf itt displease drew forth his snuff box, and dextrously 
his smel, he throws it away with a kind scattered its contents over the dish, as 
of indignation. — Wr. the most summary means which occurred 

6 to engross the mess.'] I was assured to him of defeating such palpable selfisli- 
by a friend that the following somewhat ness and gluttony, observing drily that 
similar exploit was performed in a com- he thought snuff an excellent addition to 
mercial traveller's room at A the pepper. 

dish of green peas was served very early 1 disk.] There have been some whose 

in the season. One of the party, who slovenleyeness and greedines have sequal- 

preferred high seasoned peas to most ed his, by throwing a candles end into a 

other vegetables, and himself to every messe of creame. But, more ingenious, 

body besides, took an early opportunity frame a peece of aple like a candle, and 

of offering his services to help the peas, therein stick a clove to deceave others of 

but he began by peppering them so un- their deyntyes, in fine eating the coun- 

mercifully, that it was not very probable terfet candle. — H'r. 

they would suit any other palate than Counterfeit candles' ends are now made 


As for the musical advantage, although it seem more rea- 
sonable, yet do we not observe that cranes and birds of long 
necks have any musical, but harsh and clangous throats. 
But birds that are canorous, and whose notes we most 
commend, are of little throats and short necks, as nightingales, 
finches, linnets, Canary birds and larks. And truly, although 
the weazand, trottle and tongue be the instruments of voice, 
and by their agitations do chiefly concur unto these delightful 
modulations, yet cannot we distinctly and peculiarly assign 
the cause unto any particular formation ; and I perceive the 
best thereof, the nightingale, hath some disadvantage in the 
tongue, which is not acuminate 8 and pointed as the rest, 
but seemeth as it were cut oiF, which perhaps might give the 
hint unto the fable of Philomela, and the cutting off her 
tongue by Tereus. 


Of the Lake Asphaltites. 

Concerning the Lake Asphaltites, the Lake of Sodom, or the 
Dead Sea, that heavy bodies cast therein sink not, but by 
reason of a salt and bituminous thickness in the water float 
and swim above, narrations already made are of that variety, 
we can hardly from thence deduce a satisfactory determina- 
tion, and that not only in the story itself, but in the cause 
alleged. As for the story, men deliver it variously. 9 Some I 

of peppermint, which are admirable irni- incredible stories, which both ancients 

tations of the attractive originals, and and moderns have told respecting this 

would have perfectly supplied the occa- lake. Dr. Pococke swam in it for nearly 

sion related by the Dean. a quarter of an hour, and felt no incon- 

8 acuminate.'] Yf the acuminate did venience. He found the water very 
any thinge to the songe or speech of clear, and to contain no substances be- 
birds, how comes itt that the blunt toung sides salt and alum. The fact is, that 
in the parat and the gaye [jay ?J speake its waters are very salt, and therefore 
best, and in the bulfinch expresses the bodies float readily in it ; and probably 
most excellent whistle.— Wr. on that account few fish can live in it. 

See note on the vocal organs of birds, Yet the monks of St. Saba assured Dr. 

vol ii, p. 5 IS. Sl iaw t ] iat they had seen fish caught in 

9 As for the story itself, <$c] It is to the lake.— See Dr. Adam Clarke's note in 
be reckoned among the many strange and loc. 


fear too largely, as Pliny, who affirmeth that bricks will swim 
therein. Mandevil goeth further, that iron swimmeth, and 
feathers sink. Munster in his Cosmography hath another 
relation, although perhaps derived from the poem of Ter- 
tullian, that a candle burning swimmeth, but if extinguished 
sinketh. 1 Some more moderately, as Josephus, and many 
others, affirming that only living bodies float, nor peremptorily 
averring they cannot sink, but that indeed they do not easily 
descend. Most traditionally, as Galen, Pliny, Solinus, and 
Strabo, who seems to mistake the Lake Ser bonis for it. Few 
experimentally, most contenting themselves in the experiment 
of Vespasian, by whose command some captives bound were 
cast therein, and found to float as though they could have 
swimmed. Divers contradictorily, or contrarily, quite over- 
throwing the point. 2 Aristotle, in the second of his Meteors, 
speaks lightly thereof, JJoWsg pvOoXoyovGi, which word is variously 
rendered, by some as a fabulous account, by some as a com- 
mon talk. Biddulphus * divideth the common accounts of 
Judea into three parts ; the one, saith he, are apparent truths, 
the second apparent falsehoods, the third are dubious or 
between both, in which form he ranketh the relation of this 
lake. But Andrew Thevet, in his Cosmography, doth ocularly 
overthrow it, for he affirmeth he saw an ass with his saddle 
cast therein and drowned. Now of these relations so different 
or contrary unto each other, the second is most moderate 
and safest to be embraced, which saith that living bodies 
swim therein, that is, they do not easily sink, and this, until 
exact experiment further determine, may be allowed as best 
consistent with this quality, and the reasons alleged for it. 

As for the cause of this effect, common opinion conceives 
it to be the salt and bituminous thickness of the water. This 
indeed is probable, and may be admitted as far as the second 
opinion concedeth. For certain it is that salt water will sup- 

Biddulplii Itinerarium, Avglice. 

1 sinketh.~\ Soe it will doe in any e water, sides of the lake, which have not all the 
if kept upright. — Wr- like effecte : in some partes it beares that 

2 divers contradictorily. "\ This diver- which in another part will sinke, as hath 
sity may proceed from the diverse expe- been experimented by some late tra- 
Timents that have been made on severall velers. — Wr. 


port a greater burden than fresh ; and we see an egg will 
descend in fresh water, which will swim in brine. But that 
iron should float therein, from this cause, is hardly granted ; 
for heavy bodies will only swim in that liquor, wherein the 
weight of their bulk exceedeth not the weight of so much 
water as it occupieth or taketh up. But surely no water is 
heavy enough to answer the ponderosity of iron, and there- 
fore that metal will sink in any kind thereof, and it was a 
perfect miracle which was wrought this way by Elisha. Thus 
we perceive that bodies do swim or sink in different liquors, 
according unto the tenuity or gravity of those liquors which 
are to support them. So salt water beareth that weight 
which will sink in vinegar ; vinegar that which will fall in fresh 
water ; fresh water that which will sink in spirits of wine ; 
and that will swim in spirits of wine which will sink in clear 
oil ; as we made experiment in globes of wax pierced with 
light sticks to support them. So that although it be conceiv- 
ed a hard matter to sink in oil, I believe a man should find 
it very difficult, and next to flying to swim therein. And 
thus will gold sink in quicksilver, wherein iron and other 
metals swim ; for the bulk of gold is only heavier than that 
space of quicksilver which it containeth ; and thus also in a 
solution of one ounce of quicksilver in two of aquafortis, the 
liquor will bear amber, horn, and the softer kinds of stones, 
as we have made trial in each. 

But a private opinion there is which crosseth the common 
conceit, maintained by some of late, and alleged of old by 
Strabo, that the floating of bodies in this lake proceeds not 
from the thickness of water, but a bituminous ebullition from 
the bottom, whereby it wafts up bodies injected, and sufFereth 
them not easily to sink. The verity thereof would be en- 
quired by ocular exploration, for this way is also probable. 
So we observe, it is hard to wade deep in baths where springs 
arise; and thus sometime are balls made to play upon a 
spouting stream. 3 

And therefore, until judicious and ocular experiment con- 

3 spouting stream.'] This confirmeth is but in some places stronge, and in 
what I noted before, for, as in the hot some places of the lake not at all. — Wr. 
bathe, so here, the bituminous ebullition 


firm or distinguish the assertion, that bodies do not sink 
herein at all, we do not yet believe; that they do, not easily, or 
with more difficulty, descend in this than other water, we 
shall readily asssent. 4 But to conclude an impossibility from 
a difficulty, or affirm whereas things not easily sink, they do 
not drown at all ; beside the fallacy, is a frequent addition in 
human expression, and an amplification not unusual as well in 
opinions as relations ; which oftentimes give indistinct ac- 
counts of proximities, and without restraint transcend from 
one another. Thus, forasmuch as the torrid zone was con- 
ceived exceeding hot, and of difficult habitation, the opinions 
of men so advanced its constitution, as to conceive the same 
unhabitable, and beyond possibility for man to live therein. 
Thus, because there are no wolves in England, nor have been 
observed for divers generations, common people have pro- 
ceeded into opinions, and some wise men into affirmations, 
they will not live therein, although brought from other coun- 
tries. Thus most men affirm, and few here will believe the 
contrary, that there be no spiders in Ireland ; but we have 
beheld some in that country ; and though but few, some cob- 
webs we behold in Irish wood in England. Thus the croco- 
dile from an egg growing up to an exceeding magnitude, 
common conceit, and divers writers deliver, it hath no period 
of increase, but groweth as long as it liveth. 5 And thus in 
brief, in most apprehensions the conceits of men extend the 
considerations of things, and dilate their notions beyond the 
propriety of their natures. 

In the maps of the Dead Sea or Lake of Sodom, we meet 

4 readily assent.'] And hee should completion, to the farther growth of tlie 
adde, in some places itt beares, in others individual. Nor do they, like the verte- 
not.- — IFr- urate animals, arrive early at a maximum 

5 groweth, Sfc.~] This may bee true of growth, which is not afterwards in 
inoughe in regard of the vast bignes creased, except in corpulency. Conge- 
which is reported of some of them ; and niality of climate makes a striking difter- 
vvhat should hinder? For in men and ence in magnitude, at the same age, 
creatures also kept for food, their bulke between saurians of different countries, 
growes stil greater, though not their sta- (for example, the crocodile of the Nile is 
ture Wr. larger than any other of its species,) but 

It is probably true, of the whole order in all, growth, though very slow, is pro- 

to which the crocodle belongs (the sauri- bably continued through life ; unless, in- 

ansj that they have " no period of in- deed, extreme old age may begin the 

crease" — they have no metamorjihosis, end, by ending the vital power of growth, 

like many other animals, (and some in which seems probable, but would not im- 

the same class,) to place a limit, by its pugn our author's position. 


with the destroyed cities, and in divers the city of Sodom 
placed about the middle, or far from the shore of it ; but that 
it could not be far from Segor, which was seated under the 
mountains, near the side of the Lake, seems inferrrible from 
the sudden arrival of Lot, who coming from Sodom at day- 
break, attained Segor at sun-rising ; and therefore Sodom to 
be placed not many miles from it, and not in the middle of 
the Lake, which is accounted about eighteen miles over ; and 
so will leave about nine miles to be passed in too small a 
space of time. 


Of Divers other Relations, viz : — Of the Woman that Con- 
ceived in a Bath ; — Of Crassus that never Laughed but 
once; — That our Saviour never Laughed ,-— Of Sergius the 
Second, or Bocca di Porco ; — That Tamerlane ivas a Scy- 
thian Shepherd. 

The relation of Averroes, and now common in every mouth, 
of the woman that conceived in a bath, by attracting the 
sperm or seminal effluxion of a man admitted to bathe in 
some vicinity unto her, 6 I have scarce faith to believe : and 
had I been of the jury, should have hardly thought I had 
found the father in the person that stood by her. 'T is a 
new and unseconded way in history to fornicate at a distance, 
and much offendeth the rules of physic, which say, there is 
no generation without a joint emission, nor only a virtual, but 
corporal and carnal contaction. And although Aristotle and 
his adherents do cut off the one, who conceive no effectual 
ejaculation in women ; yet in defence of the other they can- 

6 by attracting, §*c] No absurdity, meat and drink, though in some distance 

which Browne undertakes to refute — from it." The conceit respecting Lot is 

though so gross as not to merit notice, not suggested by the scriptural account, 

appears too monstrous to find acceptance which only asserts that he did not re- 

with Ross. He finds it " quite pos- cognize his daughters, 
sible, even as the stomach attracteth 


not be introduced. For if, as he believeth, the inordinate 
longitude of the organ, though in its proper recipient, may 
be a mean to inprolificate the seed ; surely the distance of 
place, with the commixture of an aqueous body must prove 
an effectual impediment, and utterly prevent the success of 
a conception. And therefore that conceit concerning the 
daughters of Lot, that they were impregnated by their sleep- 
ing father, or conceived by seminal pollution received at 
distance from him, will hardly be admitted. And therefore 
what is related of devils, and the contrived delusions of 
spirits, that they steal the seminal emissions of man, and 
transmit them into their votaries in coition, is much to be 
suspected ; and altogether to be denied, that there ensue 
conceptions thereupon ; however husbanded by art, and the 
wisest menagery of that most subtile impostor. And there- 
fore also that our magnified Merlin was thus begotten by the 
devil, is a groundless conception ; and as vain to think from 
thence to give the reason of his prophetical spirit. For if a 
generation could succeed, yet should not the issue inherit the 
faculties of the devil, who is but an auxiliary, and no univo- 
cal actor ; nor will his nature substantially concur to such 

And although it seems not impossible, that impregnation 
may succeed from seminal spirits, and vaporous irradiations, 
containing the active principle, without material and gross 
immissions ; as it happeneth sometimes in imperforated per- 
sons, and rare conceptions of some much under puberty or 
fourteen. As may be also conjectured in the coition of some 
insects, wherein the female makes intrusion into the male ; 
and from the continued ovation in hens, from one single tread 
of a cock, and little stock laid up near the vent, sufficient for 
durable prolification. And although also in human genera- 
tion the gross and corpulent seminal body may return again, 
and the great business be acted by what it carrieth with it : 
yet will hot the same suffice to support the story in question, 
wherein no corpulent immission is acknowledged ; answerable 
unto the fable of Talmudists, in the story of Benzira, begotten 
in the same manner on the daughter of the prophet Jeremiah. 7 

' And although, 8fc, | This paragraph first added in 3rd edition. 


2. The relation of Lucillius, and now become common 
concerning Crassus, the grandfather of Marcus the wealthy 
Roman, that he never laughed but once in all his life, and 
that was at an ass eating thistles, is something strange. For, 
if an indifferent and unridiculous object could draw his ha- 
bitual austereness unto a smile, it will be hard to believe he 
could with perpetuity resist the proper motives thereof. For 
the act of laughter, which is evidenced by a sweet contrac- 
tion of the muscles of the face, and a pleasant agitation of 
the vocal organs, is not merely voluntary, or totally within the 
jurisdiction of ourselves, but, as it maybe constrained by cor- 
poral contaction in any, and hath been enforced in some even 
in their death, so the new, unusual, or unexpected, jucundities 
which present themselves to any man in his life, at some time 
or other, will have activity enough to excitate the earthiest 
soul, and raise a smile from most composed tempers. Cer- 
tainly the times were dull when these things happened, and 
the wits of those ages short of these of ours ; when men 
could maintain such immutable faces, as to remain like statues 
under the flatteries of wit, and persist unalterable at all ef- 
forts of jocularity. The spirits in hell, and Pluto himself, 
whom Lucian makes to laugh at passages upon earth, will 
plainly condemn these Saturnines, and make ridiculous the 
magnified Heraclitus, who wept preposterously, and made a 
hell on earth ; for rejecting the consolations of life, he passed 
his days in tears, and the uncomfortable attendments of hell. 8 

3, The same conceit 9 there passeth concerning our blessed 
Saviour, and is sometime urged as a high example of gravity. 
And this is opinioned, because in Holy Scripture it is record- 
ed he sometimes wept, but never that he laughed. Which 
howsoever granted, it will be hard to conceive how he passed 
his younger years and childhood without a smile, if as divinity 
affirmeth, for the assurance of his humanity unto men, and the 

8 the uncomfortable, Sfc.] Ross re- 9 Tlie same conceit, Sfc.~\ Tis noe 

marks with much reason on this obser- argument to say tis never read in Scrip- 

vation, that " oftentimes there is hell in ture that Christ laughed, therefore he 

laughing, and a heaven in weeping:" did never laughe, but on the other side to 

and that "good men find not the un- affirme, that hee did laughe is therefore 

comfortable attendments of hell in weep- dangerous bycause unwarrantable and 

ing, but rather the comfortable enjoy- groundles. Wr. 

ments of heaven."— Arcana, p. 176. 


concealment of his divinity from the devil, he passed this age 
like other children, and so proceeded until he evidenced the 
same. And surely herein no danger there is to affirm the act 
or performance of that, whereof we acknowledge the power 
and essential property ; and whereby indeed he most nearly 
convinced the doubt of his humanity. 1 Nor need we be 
afraid to ascribe that unto the incarnate Son, which sometimes 
is attributed unto the uncarnate Father ; of whom it is said, 
" He that dwelleth in the heavens shall laugh the Avicked to 
scorn." For a laugh there is of contempt or indignation, as 
well as of mirth and jocosity: and that our Saviour was not 
exempted from the ground hereof, that is, the passion of an- 
ger, regulated and rightly ordered by reason, the schools do 
not deny ; and, besides the experience of the money-changers 
and dove-sellers in the temple, is testified by St. John, when 
he saith, the speech of David was fulfilled in our Saviour.* 

Now the alogy of this opinion consisteth in the illation ; 
it being not reasonable to conclude from Scripture negatively 
in points which are not matters of faith, and pertaining unto 
salvation. And therefore, although in the description of the 
creation there be no mention of fire, c Christian philosophy 
did not think it reasonable presently to annihilate that ele- 
ment, or positively to decree there was no such thing at all. 3 

* Zelus domils tuce comedit me. 

1 humanity.'] The doubt of his hu- It is the characteristic description of our 

inanity was convinced soe many other Redeemer that " he was a man of sor- 

wayes (before his passion) as by his rows and acquainted with grief." Will 

birth, his circumcision, his hunger at the it not be felt by every Christian, that 

fig-tree, his compassion and teares over laughter is utterly out of keeping with 

his friend Lazarus, and those other in- the dignity, the character and office of 

stances here alleaged, that the propertye him, who himself took our infirmities, 

of risibilitye (which is indeed the usuall and bare our sins ; who spent a life in 

instance of the schooles) though it bee the endurance of the contradiction of 

inseparable from the nature of man, and sinners against himself, — and in the full 

incommunicable to any other nature, yet and constant contemplation of that aw- 

itt does not infer the necessitye of the ful moment when he was to lay down 

acte in every individual] subject or per- that life for their sakes ? The difficulty 

son of man ; noe more then the power would have been to credit the contrary 

and propertye of numeration (wherof no tradition, had it existed, 

other creature in the world is capable) " fire.] There is no mention of met- 

can make every man an arithmetician, tals or fossiles ; and yet wee know they 

Itt is likewise recorded of Julius Satur- were created then, or else they could not 

ninus, sonne to Philippus (Arabs) the now bee. — Jf'r. 

emperor, that from his birth nulla pror- :i at alt.] Many things may perchance 

sits cujusquum commento ad ridendum be past over in silence in Holy Scripture, 

moveri potuerit — Wr. which notwithstandinge arc knowne to 


Thus, whereas in the brief narration of Moses there is no 
record of wine before the flood, we cannot satisfactorily con- 
clude that Noah 4 was the first that ever tasted thereof.* And 
thus, because the word brain is scarce mentioned once, but 
heart above a hundred times in Holy Scripture, physicians 
that dispute the principality of parts are not from hence in- 
duced to bereave the animal organ of its priority. Where- 
fore the Scriptures being serious, and commonly omitting 
such parergies, it will be unreasonable from hence to condemn 
all laughter, and from considerations inconsiderable to disci- 
pline a man out of his nature. For this is by rustical 
severity to banish all urbanity : whose harmless and confined 
condition, as it stands commended by morality, so is it con- 
sistent with religion, and doth not offend divinity. 

4. The custom it is of Popes to change their name at their 
creation; and the author thereof is commonly said to be 
Bocca di Porco, or Swines-face; who therefore assumed the 
stile of Sergius the 2nd, as being ashamed so foul a name 
should dishonour the chair of Peter ; wherein notwithstand- 
ing, from Montacutius and others, I find there may be some 
mistake. For Massonius who writ the lives of Popes, ac- 
knowledgeth he was not the first that changed his name in 
that see ; nor as Platina affirmeth.. have all his successors 
precisely continued that custom ; for Adrian the sixth, and 
Marcellus the second, did still retain their baptismal denomi- 
nation. Nor is it proved, or probable, that Sergius changed 

* Only in the vulgar Latin, Judg. ix, 53. 

bee partes of the creation, and many yard, and that first made wine, and 

things spoken to the vulgar capacity, therfore was the first that dranke of the 

which must be understood in a modified wine ; which does not only satisfactorily 

sense. But never any thinge soe spoken but necessarily oblige us to a beleefe 

as might be convinced of falshood : soe that wine made by expression into a 

that either God or Copernicus, speaking species of drinke was not knowne, and 

contradictions, cannot both speak truthe. therfore not used in that new (dryed) 

And therefore, sit Deus verus et omnis world till Noah invented itt. Itt was 

homo mendax, that speakes contradictions then, as itt is now in the new westerne 

to him. — Wr. plantations, where they have the vine, 

4 Noah.~\ Noah was not the first that and eate the grapes, but do not drinke 

tasted of the grape: but itt is expresly wine, bycause they never began to plant 

sayd, Genes, ix, 21, that Noah was the vineyardes till now of late. — Wr. 
first husbandman that planted a vine- 


the name of Bocca di Porco, for this was his surname, 5 or 
gentilitious appellation ; nor was it the custom to alter that with 
the other : but he commuted his Christian name Peter for 
Sergius, because he would seem to decline the name of Peter 
the second. A scruple I confess not thought considerable in 
other sees, whose originals and first patriarchs have been less 
disputed ; nor yet perhaps of that reality as to prevail in 
points of the same nature. For the names of the apostles, 
patriarchs, and prophets have been assumed even to affecta- 
tion. The name of Jesus 6 hath not been appropriated; but 
some in precedent ages have born that name, and many since 
have not refused the Christian name of Emmanuel. Thus 
are there few names more frequent than Moses and Abraham 
among the Jews. The Turks without scruple affect the 
name of Mahomet, and with gladness receive so honourable 

And truly in human occurrences there ever have been 
many well directed intentions, whose rationalities will never 
bear a rigid examination, and though in some way they do 
commend their authors, and such as first began them, yet 
have they proved insufficient to perpetuate imitation in such 
as have succeeded them. Thus was it a worthy resolution 
of Godfrey, and most Christians have applauded it, that he 
refused to wear a crown of gold where his Saviour had worn 
one of thorns. Yet did not his successors durably inherit 
that scruple, but some were anointed, and solemnly accepted 
the diadem of regality. Thus Julius, Augustus, and Tibe- 
rius with great humility or popularity refused the name of 
Imperator, but their successors have challenged that title, 
and retained the same even in its titularity. And thus, to 
come nearer our subject, the humility of Gregory the Great 

° surname.'] Itt might bee his sire- of Emmanuel in a qualified sense onlye. 

name : but doubtles it was first a nic- But that never any Pope would bee 

name fastened on some of his progenitors, stiled Peter the second, proceeds from a 

— Wr. mysterye of policye; that they may ra- 

6 The name, fyc] The name of Jesus ther seeme successors to his power, then 

was not the same, per omnia, in Joshua; to his name, which they therefore decline 

and Jesu was never given to any before of purpose : that Christ's vicariate au- 

the angel brought itt from heaven. The thoritye may seeme to descend not from 

names of patriarches and prophets have personal succession, but immediately 

been imposed (not assumed) as memori- from [him] who first derived it on Peter, 

als (to children) of imitation : and that — Wr. 


would by no means admit the stile of universal bishop; but 
the ambition of Boniface made no scruple thereof, nor of 
more queasy resolutions have been their successors ever 

5. That Tamerlane 7 was a Scythian shepherd, from Mr. 
Knollis and others, from Alhazen a learned Arabian who 
wrote his life, and was spectator of many of his exploits, we 
have reasons to deny. Not only from his birth, — for he was 
of the blood of the Tartarian emperors, whose father Og had 
for his possession the country of Sagathy, (which was no 
slender territory, but comprehended all that tract wherein 
were contained Bactriana, Sogdiana, Margiana, and the 
nation of the Massagetes, whose capital city was Samarcand, 
a place, though now decayed, of great esteem and trade in 
former ages,) — but from his regal inauguration, for it is said, 
that being about the age of fifteen, his old father resigned 
the kingdom, and men of war unto him. And also from his 
education, for as the story speaks it, he was instructed in the 
Arabian learning, and afterwards exercised himself therein. 
Now Arabian learning was in a manner all the liberal sciences, 
especially the mathematicks, and natural philosophy ; where- 
in, not many ages before him there flourished Avicenna, 
Averroes, Avenzoar, Geber, Almanw, and Alhazen, cogno- 
minal unto him that wrote his history, whose chronology in- 
deed, although it be obscure, yet in the opinion of his 
commentator, he was contemporary unto Avicenna, and hath 
left sixteen books of opticks, of great esteem with ages past, 
and textuary unto our days. 

Now the ground of this mistake was surely that which the 
Turkish historian declareth. Some, saith he, of our histo- 
rians will needs have Tamerlane to be the son of a shepherd. 
But this they have said, not knowing at all the custom of 
their country ; wherein the principal revenues of the king and 

7 Tamerlane.'] His true Scythian His father was Targui, a chief of the 

name was Temur-Can which all storyes tribe of Berlas, tributary to Jagatai, one 

corruptly and absurdlye call Tamberlane. of the sons of Jenghis- (or Chingis-) 

— Wr. Khan. He was born at Sebz, a suburb 

From the best authorities it appears of the city of Kesch. See Biographic 

that the parentage here assigned to Universelle ; Universal History; Lard- 

Timur Beg (Tamerlane) is erroneous, ncr's Outlines of History. 


nobles consisteth in cattle ; who, despising gold and silver, 
abound in all sorts thereof. And this was the occasion that 
some men call them shepherds, and also affirm this prince 
descended from them. Now, if it be reasonable, that great 
men whose possessions are chiefly in cattle should bear the 
name of shepherds, and fall upon so low denominations, then 
may we say that Abraham was a shepherd, although too 
powerful for four kings ; that Job was of that condition, who 
beside camels and oxen had seven thousand sheep, 8 and yet 
is said to be the greatest man in the east. Thus was Mesha, 
king of Moab, a shepherd, who annually paid unto the crown 
of Israel, an hundred thousand lambs, and. as many rams. 
Surely it is no dishonourable course of life which Moses and 
Jacob have made exemplary: 'tis a profession supported 
upon the natural way of acquisition, and though contemned by 
the Egyptians, much countenanced by the Hebrews, whose 
sacrifices required plenty of sheep and lambs. And certain- 
ly they were very numerous ; for, at the consecration of the 
temple, beside two-and-twenty thousand oxen, king Solomon 
sacrificed an hundred and twenty thousand sheep : and the 
same is observable from the daily provision of his house ; 
which was ten fat oxen, 9 twenty oxen out of the pastures, 
and a hundred sheep, beside roebuck, fallow deer and. 
fatted fowls. Wherein notwithstanding, (if a punctual rela- 
tion thereof do rightly inform us,) the Grand Seignior doth 
exceed : the daily provision of whose seraglio in the reign of 
Achmet, beside beeves, consumed 9 two hundred sheep, 
lambs and kids when they were in season one hundred, 
calves ten, geese fifty, hens two hundred, chickens one hun- 
dred, pigeons a hundred pair. 

And therefore this mistake, concerning the noble Tamer- 
lane, was like that concerning Demosthenes, who is said to 

8 sheep.~\ Sir Wm. Jorden, of Wiltcs, kids, 109,500. And yet this cann raise 
in the plaines, aspired to come to the noe greate wonder considering how 
number of 20,000 : but with all his en- manye mouthes were dayly fed at So- 
deavor could never bring them beyond lomon's tables, his concubines, his offi- 
18,000. He lived since 1630 Wr. cers, his guards, and all sorts of inferior 

9 oxen, S,-c.~\ That is, in the yeare, attendants on him and them: of which 

of beeves, 10,950, of sheep, 30,500 kindes the Grand Signeur mninteyns 

Wr. greater multitudes daylye in the Serag- 

1 consumed, cyr.] Of sheep, lambs, lio. — Wr. 


be the son of a blacksmith, according to common conceit, 
and that handsome expression of Juvenal; 

Quern pater ardentis massa fuligine lippus, 
A carbone et fovcipibus, gladiosque parante 
Incude, et luteo Vulcano, et Rhetora misit. 

Thus Englished by Sir Robert Stapleton. 

Whom's Father with the smoky forge half blind, 
From blows on sooty Vulcan's anvil spent 
In ham'ring swords, to study Rhet'rick sent. 

But Plutarch, who writ his life, hath cleared this conceit, 
plainly affirming he was most nobly descended, and that this 
report was raised, because his father had many slavesthat 
wrought smith's work, and brought the profit unto him. £ 


Of some others viz. , — of the poverty of Belisarius ; of Flue t us 
Decumamis, or the tenth wave ; of Parisatis that poisoned 
Satira by one side of a knife; of the Woman fed with poi- 
son that should have poisoned Alexander ; of the Wander- 
ing Jew ; of Pope Joan ; of Friar Bacons brazen head 
that spoke; of Epicurus. 

We are sad when we read the story of Belisarius, that wor- 
thy chieftain of Justinian ; who after his victories over 
Vandals, Goths, Persians, and his trophies in three parts of 
the world, had at last his eyes put out by the emperor, and 
was reduced to that distress, that he begged relief on the 
highway, in that uncomfortable petition, date obolum Beli- 
sario* And this we do not only hear in discourses, orations 

2 And this mistake, Sfc] This para- his life of Belisarius, adopts this tradi- 
graph was first added in the 2nd edition, tional account of him, as the most likely 
except the translation, which was added to be true: and gives at the close of the 
in the 6th edition. wor k his reasons at large. 

3 We arc sad, <!yc.] Lord Mnhon, in 



and themes, but find it also in the leaves of Petrus Crinitus, 
Volaterranus, and other worthy writers. 

But, what may somewhat consolate all men that honour 
virtue, we do not discover the latter scene of his misery in 
authors of antiquity, or such as have expressly delivered the 
stories of those times. For, Suidas is silent herein, Cedre- 
nus and Zonaras, two grave and punctual authors, delivering 
only the confiscation of his goods, omit the history of his 
mendication. Paulus Diaconus goeth farther, not only pass- 
ing over this act, but affirming his goods and dignities were 
restored. Agathius, who lived at the same time, declared he 
suffered much from the envy of the court: but that he de- 
scended thus deep into affliction, is not to be gathered from 
his pen. The same is also omitted by Procopius,* a contem- 
pory and professed enemy unto Justinian and Belisarius, who 
hath left an opprobrious book against them both. 

And in this opinion and hopes we are not single, but 
Andreas Aniatus the civilian in his Parerga, and Franciscus 
de Corduba in his Didascalia, have both declaratory con- 
firmed the same, which is also agreeable unto the judgment 
of Nicolaus Alemannus, in his notes upon that bitter history 
of Procopius. Certainly sad tragical stories are seldom 
drawn within the circle of their verities; but as their relators 
do either intend the hatred or pity of the persons, so are 
they set forth with additional amplifications. Thus have 
some suspected it hath happened unto the story of CEdipus : 
and thus do we conceive it hath fared with that of Judas, 
who, having sinned above aggravation, and committed one 
villany which cannot be exasperated by all other, is also 
charged with the murder of his reputed brother, parricide 
of his father, and incest with his own mother, 4 as Florilegus 

*' Av£X.dora } or Arcana Historia. 

4 is also charged, &c.~\ Surely yf these nor would the Sonne of God have en- 
had been true, St. John, who cals him a dined the scandal of such a knowne 
theefe in plaine termes, woidd never miscreant, much lesse have chosen him 
have concealed such unparalled villanyes. among the twelve apostles. Judas deserv- 
They could not bee don after his trea- ed as much detestation as his unparaleld 
son, the halter followed that soe closelye; and matchless crimes could any way 
and had they been don before, neither deserve. But noe cause of such detes- 
could he have escaped the laws of Judaea, tation could be soe just, as to produce 
most severe against such hideous crimes ; such prodigious fictions in the writings 


or Matthew of Westminster hath at large related. And 
thus hath it perhaps befallen the noble Belisarius ; who, 
upon instigation of the Empress, having contrived the exile, 
and very hardly treated Pope Serverius, Latin pens, as a 
judgment of God upon this fact, have set forth his future 
sufferings-, and, omitting nothing of amplification, they have 
also delivered this : which notwithstanding Johannes the 
Greek makes doubtful, as may appear from his IambicJcs in 
Baronius, and might be a mistake or misapplication, trans- 
lating the affliction of one man upon another, for the same 
befell unto Johannes Cappadox*, contemporary unto Belisarius, 
and in great favour with Justinian; who being afterwards 
banished into Egypt, was fain to beg relief on the highway.* 5 
2 That fluctus decumanus, 6 or the tenth wave is greater and 
more dangerous than any other, some no doubt will be offend- 
ed if we deny ; and hereby we shall seem to contradict an- 
tiquity; for, answerable unto the literal and common accep- 
tion, the same is averred by many writers, and plainly describ- 
ed by Ovid. 

Qui venit hie fluctus, fluctus supereminet omnes, 
Posterior nono est, undecimoque prior. 

Which notwithstanding is evidently false ; nor can it be 
made out by observation either upon the shore or the ocean, 

* Procop. Bell, Persic, i." Aotov q b(3o\ov airiTd'^ai. 

of Christians : whome the recorded ex- observed to be more tremendous than 

ample of the Archangel Michael hath the rest, and threatens to overwhelm the 

taught, not to rayle against, much less settlement of Anjengo. 
to belye the Divel himselfe. Wr. The following passage occurs in Dr. 

5 and might be a mistake, fyc] First Henderson's Iceland, vol. ii, p. 109, " Ow- 
added in 2nd edition. . ing to a heavy swell from the ocean, we 

6 Fluctus decumanus, #c] Ross says found great difficulty in landing, and 
that our author, " troubles himself to no were obliged to await the alternation of 
purpose in refuting the greatness of the the waves, in the following order: — first 
tenth wave and tenth egg : for the tenth three heavy surges broke with a tre- 
of anything was not counted the greatest, mendous dash upon the rocks ; these 
but the greatest of any thing was called were followed by six smaller ones, which 
the tenth; because that is the first perfect just afforded us time to land; after 
number, therefore any thing that was which the three large ones broke again, 
greater than another was called decuma- and so on in regular succession." 

nus. So porta decumana, limes decuma- " The typhon is a strong swift wind, 

nus, decumana pyra, and pomum decuma- that blows from all points, and is fre- 

num as well as ovum decumanum." Arc. quent in the Indian Seas ; raising them, 

p. 1/8. with its strong whirling about, to a great 

Mr. Forbes, in his Oriental Memoirs, height, every tenth wave rising above 

describing the effect of the monsoon upon the rest." Loss of the Ship Fanny. 
the ofean, says, " every ninth, wave is 

2 A 2 


as we have with diligence explored both. And surely in vain 
we expect a regularity in the waves of the sea, or in the par- 
ticular motions thereof, as we may in its general reciprocations, 
whose causes are constant, and effects therefore correspond- 
ent. Whereas its fluctuations are but motions subservient ; 
which winds, storms, shores, shelves, and every interjacency 
irregulates. With semblable reason we might expect a re- 
gularity in the winds ; whereof though some be statary, 
some anniversary, and the rest do tend to determinate points 
of heaven, yet do the blasts and undulary breaths thereof 
maintain no certainty in their course, nor are they numerally 
feared by navigators. 

Of affinity hereto is that conceit of ovum decumanum ; 
so called, because the tenth egg is bigger than any other, 
according unto the reason alleged by Festus, decumana ova 
dicuntur, quia ovum decimum majus nascitur. For the 
honour we bear unto the clergy, we cannot but wish this 
true : but herein will be found no more of verity than in the 
other ; and surely few will assent hereto without an implicit 
credulity, or Pythagorical submission unto every conception 
of number. 

For surely the conceit is numeral, and, though in the sense 
apprehended, relate th unto the number of ten, as Franciscus 
Sylvius hath most probably declared. For, whereas amongst 
simple numbers or digits, the number often is the greatest: 
therefore whatsoever was the greatest in every kind, might 
in some sense be named from this number. Now, because 
also that which was the greatest, was metaphorically by some 
at first called decumanus, therefore whatsoever passed under 
this name, was literally conceived by others to respect and 
make good this number. 

The conceit is also Latin ; for the Greeks, to express the 
greatest wave, do use the number of three, that is, the word 
rgixv/jjia, which is a concurrence of three waves in one, whence 
arose the proverb, rg/Tcu/x/cc xaxuv, or a trifluctuation of evils, 
which Erasmus doth render, malorum Jluctus decumanus. 
And thus although the terms be very different, yet are they 
made to signify the self- same thing: the number of ten to 


explain the number of three, and the single number of one 
wave the collective concurrence of more. 

3. The poison of Parysatis, 7 reported from Ctesias by Plu- 
tarch in the life of Artaxerxes, (whereby, anointing a knife on 
the one side, and therewith dividing a bird, with the one half 
she poisoned Statira, and safely fed herself on the other,) was 
certainly a very subtle one, and such as our ignorance is well 
content it knows not. But surely we had discovered a poi- 
son that would not endure Pandora's box, could we be satis- 
fied in that which for its coldness nothing could contain but 
an ass's hoof, and wherewith some report that Alexander the 
Great was poisoned. Had men derived so strange an effect 
from some occult or hidden qualities, they might have silenc- 
ed contradiction ; but ascribing it unto the manifest and open 
qualities of cold, they must pardon our belief; who perceive 
the coldest and most Stygian waters may be included in 
glasses ; and by Aristotle, who saith that glass is the perfect- 
est work of art, we understand they were not then to be 

And though it be said that poison will break a Venice 
glass, 8 yet have we not met with any of that nature. Were 
there a truth herein, it were the best preservative for princes 
and persons exalted unto such fe^rs : and surely far better 
than divers now in use. And though the best of China dishes, 
and such as the emperor doth use, be thought by some of 
infallible virtue unto this effect, yet will they not, I fear, be 
able to elude the mischief of such intentions. And though 
also it be true, that God made all things double, and that if 
we look upon the works of the Most High, there are two and 
two, one against another; that one contrary hath another, 
and poison is not without a poison unto itself; yet hath the 
curse so far prevailed, or else our industry defected, that poi- 
sons are better known than their antidotes, and some thereof 
do scarce admit of any. And lastly, although unto every 

7 The poison of Parysatis.] This is Such is the venom of some spiders that 
treated as fabulous by Paris and Fon- they will crack a Venice glass, as I have 
blanque, in the 20th vol. of whose Medi- seen ; and Scaliger doth witness the same 
cal Jurisprudence, p. 131, &c. will be — however the doctor denies it. — Ross, 
found a long article on poisons. Arc. 146. 

8 poison will break a Venice glass.] 


poison men have delivered many antidotes, and in every one 
is promised an equality unto its adversary, yet do we often 
find they fail in their effects : moly will not resist a weaker 
cup than that of Circe ; a man may be poisoned in a Lemnian 
dish ; without the miracle of John, there is no confidence in 
the earth of Paul ; * and if it be meant that no poison could 
work upon him, we doubt the story, and expect no such suc- 
cess from the diet of Mithridates. 

A story there passeth of an Indian king, that sent unto 
Alexander a fair woman, fed with aconites and other poisons, 
with this intent, either by converse or copulation complexion- 
ally to destroy him. For my part, although the design were 
true, I should have doubted the success. 9 For, though it be 
possible that poisons may meet with tempers whereto they 
may become aliments, and we observe from fowls that feed 
on fishes, and others fed with garlick and onions, that simple 
aliments are not always concocted beyond their vegetable 
qualities ; and therefore that even after carnal conversion, 
poisons may yet retain some portion of their natures ; yet are 
they so refracted, cicurated, 1 and subdued, as not to make 
good their first and destructive malignities. And therefore [to] 
the stork that eateth snakes, and the stare that feedeth upon 
hemlock, [these] though no commendable aliments, are not de- 
structive poisons. j- For, animals that can innoxiously digest 
these poisons, become antidotal unto the poison digested. And 
therefore, whether their breath be attracted, or their flesh 
ingested, the poisonous relicks go still along with their anti- 
dote ; whose society will not permit their malice to be destruc- 
tive. And therefore also, animals that are not mischieved by 
poisons which destroy us, may be drawn into antidote against 
them ; the blood or flesh of storks against the venom of ser- 

* Terra Melitea. 
t [to] [these] these words seem indispensable to complete the sense evidently intended. 

9 success.] Hee that remembers how gious transfusion. Nor is there the same 
the Portuguez mixing with the women danger in eatinge of a duck that feeds on 
in the eastern islands founde such a hot a toade, as in the loathsome copulation 
overmatching complexion in them, that with those bodyes, whose touch is form- 
as the son puts out a candle, soe itt idable as the fome of a mad dog, the 
quentcht their hot luste with the cold touch wherof has been found as deadly 
gripes of deathe; may easilye conceive, to some, as the wounde of his teeth to 
without an instance, what a quick effect others. — Wr. 
such venemous spirits make by a conta- ' cicurated.] Tamed : — a Broionism, 


pents, the quail against hellebore, and the diet of starlings 
against the draught of Socrates. 2 Upon like grounds are 
some parts of animals alexipharmical unto others ; and some 
veins of the earth, and also whole regions, 3 not only destroy 
the life of venomous creatures, but also prevent their pro- 
ductions. For though perhaps they contain the seminals of 
spiders and scorpions, and such as in other earths by susci- 
tation 4 of the sun may arise unto animation ; yet lying under 
command of their antidote, without hope of emergency they 
are poisoned in their matrix by powers easily hindering the 
advance of their originals, whose confirmed forms they are 
able to destroy. 

5. The story of the wandering Jew is very strange, and 
will hardly obtain belief; yet is there a formal account thereof 
set down by Matthew Paris, from the report of an Armenian 
bishop, 5 who came into this kingdom about four hundred 
years ago, and had often entertained this wanderer at his 
table. That he was then alive, was first called Cartaphilus, 
was keeper of the judgment hall, whence thrusting out our 
Saviour with expostulation for his stay, was condemned to 
stay until his return ; * was after baptized by Ananias, and by 
the name of Joseph; was thirty years old in the days of our 

* Fade, quid moraris ? Ego vado, tu astern morare donee venio. 

2 Socrates.] That is henbane. — Wr. tion of two witnesses, now living, of the 

3 whole regions.] As Ireland and Crete suffering and passion of our Saviour Jesus 
neither breed nor brooke any venemous Christ: the one being a Gentile, the other 
creature, which was a providence of God, a Jew," &c. in High Dutch. Amsterdam, 
considering that noe creature can bee 1647 — London, 1648, 4to. See Hutt- 
worse then the natives themselves. — Wr. man's Life of Christ, p. 67 . The Span- 
Is this remark perfectly in keeping iard, who wrote one of the most amusing 

with the character of a Christian minis- of critiques on John Bull, under the title 

ter ? of Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella's Let- 

4 suscitation.] Excitement. ters from England, has enlivened his 

5 Armenian Bishop.] And that reporte narrative of the wandering Jew, with 
of a wandering bishop is the ground of the following incident : " The Jew had 
this absurd figment : for what's become awarded his preference to Spain above all 
of him ever since that time ? But 't is the countries he had seen ; as perhaps" — 
noe wonder to finde a wandring Jew in ingeniously remarks the soi-disant Span- 
all partes of the world ; for what are all ish narrator, "a man would who had 
the nation but wanderers? Inmatestofhe really seen all the world." But on be- 
world, and strangers noe where soe much ing reminded that it was rather extraor- 
as in their owne countrye. — Wr. dinary that a Jew should prefer the coun- 

"This fable of the wandering Jew, try of the Inquisition, the ready rogue 

once almost generally believed, probably answered with a smile and a shake of 

suggested the fabrication of the tale of the head, " that it was long before Chris - 

the wandering Gentile in later times : tianity when he last visited Spain ; and 

they are both included in a work, enti- that he should not return till long after it 

tied News from Holland ; or a short rela- was all over." 


Saviour, remembered the saints that arose with him, the 
making of the apostles' creed, and their several peregrina- 
tions. Surely were this true, he might be an happy arbitra- 
tor in many Christian controversies ; but must unpardonably 
condemn the obstinacy of the Jews, who can contemn the 
rhetorick of such miracles, and blindly behold so living and 
lasting conversions. 

6. 8 Clearer confirmations must be drawn for the history of 
Pope Joan, who succeeded Leo the Fourth, and preceded 
Benedict the Third, than many we yet discover. And since 
it is delivered with ahint andferunt by many; since the learned 
Leo Allatius hath discovered * that ancient copies of Marti- 
nus Polonus, who is chiefly urged for it, had not this story in 
it ; since not only the stream of Latin historians have omitted 
it, but Photius the patriarch, Metrophanes Smyrnaeus, and 
the exasperated Greeks have made no mention of it, but 
conceded Benedict the Third to be successor unto Leo the 
Fourth ; he wants not grounds that doubts it. 7 

Many things historical, which seem of clear concession, 
want not affirmations and negations, according to divided 
pens : as is notoriously observable in the story of Hildebrand, 
or Gregory the Seventh, repugnantly delivered by the impe- 
rial and papal party. In such divided records, partiality hath 
much depraved history, wherein if the equity of the reader 
do not correct the iniquity of the writer, he will be much con- 
founded with repugnancies, and often find, in the same per- 
son, Numa and Nero. In things of this nature moderation 
must intercede ; and so charity may hope that Roman read- 
ers will construe many passages in Bolsec, Fayus, Schlussel- 
berg, and Cochlaeus. 

7. Every ear is filled with the story of Friar Bacon, that 
made a brazen head to speak these words, time is. 8 Which 

* Confntatio fabulre dc Joanna Papissa cum Nibusio. 

6 . ] The remainder of the chapter rejected by the best authorities, Protes- 

was first added in the 2nd edition. tant as well as Catholic, as a fabrication 

7 the history of Pope Joan.] Not only from beginning to end. 

the final catastrophe of this lady's career, s a brazen head.] This ridiculous story 

as recorded in the well-known Latin was originally imputed, not to Roger 

line, "Papa, pater patrum, peperit Pa- Bacon, but to Robert Grosseteste, Bishop 

pissa papillum," — but even her very ex- of Lincoln, 
istence itself seems now to be universally 


thought here want not the like relations, is surely too literally 
received, and was but a mystical fable concerning the phi- 
losopher's great work, wherein he eminently laboured : im- 
plying no more by the copper-head, than the vessel wherein 
it was wrought, and by the words it spake, than the oppor- 
tunity to be watched, about the tempus ortus, or birth of the 
mystical child, or philosophical king of Lullius ; the rising 
of the terra foliata of Arnoldus, when the earth, sufficiently 
impregnated with the water, ascendeth white and splendent. 
Which not observed, the work is irrecoverably lost, accord- 
ing to that of Petrus Bonus : Ibi est operis perfectio aut 
annihilatio ; quoniam ipsa die, immo hora, oriuntur elementa 
simplicia depurata, quae egent statim compositione, antequam 
volent ab igne.* 

Now letting slip this critical opportunity, he missed the in- 
tended treasure, which had he obtained, he might have made 
out the tradition of making a brazen wall about England : 
that is, the most powerful defence, and strongest fortification 
which gold could have effected. 

8. Who can but pity the virtuous Epicurus, who is com- 
monly conceived to have placed his chief felicity in pleasure 
and sensual delights, and hath therefore left an infamous 
name behind him ? How true, let them determine who read 
that he lived seventy years, and wrote more books than any 
philosopher but Chrysippus, and no less than three hundred, 
without borrowing from any author : that he was contented 
with bread and water ; and when he would dine with Jove, 
and pretend unto epulation, he desired no other addition 
than a piece of Cytheridian Cheese : that shall consider 
the words of Seneca, 9 Noti dico, quod plerique nostrorum, 
sectam Epicuri Jlagitiorum magistrum esse : sed Mud dico, 
male audit, infamis est, et immerito : or shall read his life, 
his epistles, his Testament in La'ertius, who plainly names 
them calumnies, which are commonly said against them. 

The ground hereof seems a misapprehension of his opinion, 
who placed his felicity not in the pleasures of the body, but 

* Margarita pretiosa. 

9 That shall co?isider the words of the words of Seneca, &c." 
Seneca.] That is, " let them determine 


the mind, and tranquillity thereof, obtained by wisdom and 
virtue, as is clearly determined in his epistle unto Menaeceus. 
Now how this opinion was first traduced by the Stoicks, how 
it afterwards became a common belief, and so taken up by 
authors of all ages, by Cicero, Plutarch, Clemens, Ambrose, 
and others, the learned pen of Gassendus hath discovered. * 1 


More briefly of some others, viz: that the Army of Xerxes 
drank whole Rivers dry ; that Hannibal eat through the 
Alps with Vinegar ; of Archimedes his burning the Ships 
of Marcellus ; of the Fabii that were all slain; of the 

t Death of /Eschylus ; of the Cities of Tarsus and / '.. 
chiale built in one day ; of the great Ship Syracusia or 
Alexandria ; of the Spartan Boys. 

1. Other relations there are, and those in very good authors, 
which though we do not positively deny, yet have they not 
been unquestioned by some, and at least as improbable truths 
have been received by others. Unto some it hath seemed 
incredible what Herodotus reporteth of the great army of 
Xerxes, that drank whole rivers dry. And unto the author 
himself it appeared wondrous strange, that they exhausted 
not the provision of the country, rather than the waters 
thereof. For as he maketh the account, and Buddeus de Asse 
correcting their miscompute of Valla delivereth it, if every 
man of the army had had a chenix of corn a day, that is, a 

* De vita el vioribus Epicuri. 

1 Who can but pity, SfC."] Ross is un- cevo, Plutarch, and Seneca, have awarded 

merciful in his reprobation of our author's him, in reference to the particular charges 

defence of Epicurus. Yet some of those here spoken of, the same acquittal which 

who were among the opponents of that Browne has pronounced, 
philosopher's doctrines, for example Ci- 


sextary and half, or about two pints and a quarter, the army 
had daily expended ten hundred thousand and forty me- 
dimna's, or measures containing six bushels. 2 Which rigthly 
considered, the Abderites had reason to bless the heavens, 
that Xerxes eat but one meal a day, and Pythius his noble 
host, might with less charge and possible provision entertain 
both him and his army ; and yet may all be salved, if we take 
it hyperbolically, as wise men receive that expression in Job, 
concerning Behemoth or the elephant, " Behold, he drinketh 
up a river and hasteth not ; he trusteth that he can draw up 
Jordan into his mouth." 

2. That Hannibal ate or brake through the Alps with vinegar 
may be too grossly taken, and the author of his life annexed 
unto Plutarch, affirmeth only he used this artifice upon the 
tops of some of the highest mountains. For as it is vulgarly 
understood, that he cut a passage for his army through those 
mighty mountains, it may seem incredible, not only in the 
greatness of the effect, but the quantity of the efficient, and 
such as behold them may think an ocean of vinegar too little 
for that effect. 3 'T was a work indeed rather to be expected 

2 bushels.] But the wonder is not soe conclusion, that, in all probability, the 
much how they could consume soe much expansive operation of the fire on the 
corne, as where they could have it soe water which had been percolating through 
sodenly. But it seemes the learned au- the pores and fissures of the rocks, occa- 
thor heere mistooke his accompte. For sioned the detachment of large portions 
1,000,000 quarts, (allowing for every one of it by explosion, just as masses of 
in his army a quarte, and 16 quartes to rock are frequently detached from cliffs, 
a bushell), amount to noe more then and precipitated into adjoining vallies, by 
62,499 bushels, or 10,416 medimnas, a similar physical cause. Dr. M. notices 
which would not loade 1000 wagons, a the annual disruption of icebergs in the 
small baggage for so great an army not Polar Seas, on the return of summer, 
to be wondered at. — JVr. as a phenomenon bearing considerable 

3 an ocean, 8fc.~\ There needed not analogy to the preceding. Mr. Brayley 
more than some few hogsheads of vinegar, supposes that Hannibal might have used 
for having hewed downe the woods of vinegar to dissolve partially a particular 
firr growing there, and with the huge mass of limestone, which might impede 
piles thereof calcined the tops of some his passage through some narrow pass, 
cliffes which stood in his waye ; a small Dr. M. suggests that he might attribute 
quantity of vinegar poured on the fired to the vinegar and fire what the latter 
glowing rocks would make them cleave actually effected by its action on the 
in sunder, as is manifest in calcined water, and would have effected just as 
flints, which being often burned, and as well without the vinegar. But perhaps 
often quentcht in vinegar, will in fine after all the only vinegar employed might 
turne into an impalpable powder, as is be pyroligneous acid, produced from the 
truly experimented, and is dayly mani- wood by its combination, without any 
fest in the lime kilnes. — Wr. intention on the part of Hannibal, though 

Dr. Mc'Keever, in a paper in the 5th its presence would very naturally have 
vol. of the Annals of Philosophy, N. S. been attributed to design by the ignorant 
discusses this question, and arrives at the spectators of his operations, which, on 


from earthquakes and inundations, than any corrosive waters, 
and much condemneth the judgment of Xerxes, that wrought 
through Mount Athos with mattocks. 

3. That Archimedes burnt the ships of Marcellus, with 
speculums of parabolical figures, at three furlongs, or as some 
will have it, at the distance of three miles, sounds hard unto 
reason and artificial experience, and therefore justly ques- 
tioned by Kircherus, who after long enquiry could find but 
one made by Manfredus Septalius * that fired at fifteen paces. 
And therefore more probable it is that the ships were nearer 
the shore or about some thirty paces, at which distance not- 
withstanding the effect was very great. But whereas men 
conceive the ships were more easily set on flame by reason of 
the pitch about them, it seemeth no advantage ; since burning 
glasses will melt pitch or make it boil, not easily set it on fire. 

4. The story of the Fabii, whereof three hundred and six 
marching against the Veientes were all slain, and one child alone 
to support the family remained, is surely not to be paralleled, 
nor easy to be conceived, except we can imagine that of three 
hundred and six, but one had children below the service of 
war, that the rest were all unmarried, or the wife but of one 
impregnated. 4 

5. The received story of Milo, who by daily lifting a calf, 
attained an ability to carry it being a bull, is a witty conceit, 
and handsomely sets forth the efficacy of assuefaction. But 
surely the account had been more reasonably placed upon 
some person not much exceeding in strength, and such a one 
as without the assistance of custom could never have per- 
formed that act, which some may presume that Milo, without 
precedent, artifice, or any other preparative, had strength 
enough to perform. For as relations declare, he was the 
most pancratical man of Greece, and as Galen reporteth, and 
Mercurialis in his Gymnastics representeth, he was able to 
persist erect upon an oiled plank, and not to be removed by 

* Dc hire ct umbra. 

this theory, may be supposed to have obstructed his advance, 

been conducted on a full knowledge of 4 3.] This and the following para- 

the effects they would produce, in the graph, as well as § 12, were first added 

explosive removal of the obstacles which in the 2nd edition. 


tlie force or protrusion of three men. And if that be true 
which Athenaeus reporteth, he was little beholding to custom 
for his ability ; for in the Olympic games, for the space of a 
furlong, he carried an ox of four years 5 upon his shoulders, 
and the same day he carried it in his belly ; for as it is there 
delivered, he eat it up himself. Surely he had been a proper 
guest at Grandgousier's feast, and might have matched his 
throat that eat six pilgrims for a salad.* 

6. It much disadvantageth the panegyrick of Synesius, f 
and is no small disparagement unto baldness, if it be true 
what is related by iElian concerning iEschylus, whose bald 
pate was mistaken for a rock, and so was brained by a tortoise 
which an eagle let fall upon it. Certainly it was a very great 
mistake in the perspicacy of that animal. Some men critically 
disposed, would from hence confute the opinion of Copernicus, 
never conceiving how the motion of the earth below, should 
not wave him from a knock perpendicularly directed from a 
body in the air above. 

7. It crosseth the proverb, and Rome might well be built 
in a day, if that were true which is traditionally related by 
Strabo ; that the great cities, Anchiale and Tarsus, 6 were 
built by Sardanapalus, both in one day, according to the 
inscription of his monument, Sard.ana'palus Anacyndaraxis 

Jilius, Anchialem et Tarsum una die cedificavi, tu autem 

* In Rabelais. 
f Who writ in the praise of baldness. An argument or instance against the motion 

of the earth. 

5 an ox, 8(0.'] An ox of 4 years in narch, itt is possible that Sardanapalus, 
Greece did not sequal one with us of the last Monarch, but withall the greatest 
2; whereof having taken out the bowels in power, and purse, and people, might 
and the heade and the hide, and the feete easily raise such a fortresse in a daye, 
and all that which they call the offall, we having first brought all the materials in 
may well thinke the four quarters, espe- place, and if one, he might as well have 
cially yf the greate bones were all taken built ten in several places. Now these 
out, could not weigh much above a 1001b. cityes were about 400 hundred miles 
weight. Now the greater wonder is how distant, Tarsus on the banke of Sinus, 
he could eate soe much, then to carry Issicus in Cilicia, and Anchiala on the 
itt. Itt is noe news for men in our banke of the Euxine Sea in Pontus, 
dayes to carry above 400 weight; but both border townes, dividing Natolia on 
few men can eate 100 weight, excepting the lesser Asia from the greater Asia, 
they had such a gyant-like bulke as hee and were the 2 frontire townes of the 
had. — Wr. Assyrian Monarchie, and were built for 

6 Anchiale and Tarsus.'] A single the ostentation of his vast spreading do- 
fortress, as that of Babell, is called a city, minions, and both in a day raisd, for 
Genes, xi, 4. In imitation whereof, ostentation of his power Wr. 

built by Nimrod, the first Assyrian Mon- 


hospes, ede, lude, bibe, fyc. Which if strictly taken, that is, 
for the finishing thereof, and not only for the beginning ; for 
an artificial or natural day, and not one of Daniel's weeks, 
that is, seven whole years ; surely their hands were very heavy 
that wasted thirteen years in the private house of Solomon. 
It may be wondered how forty years were spent in the erec- 
tion of the temple of Jerusalem, and no less than an hundred 
in that famous one of Ephesus. Certainly it was the greatest 
architecture of one day, since that great one of six ; an art 
quite lost with our mechanics, a work not to be made out, 
but like the walls of Thebes, and such an artificer as 

8. It had been a sight only second unto the ark to have 
beheld the great Syracusia, or mighty ship of Hiero, described 
in Athenaeus ; and some have thought it a very large one, 
wherein were to be found ten stables for horses, eight towers, 
besides fish ponds, gardens, tricliniums, and many fair rooms 
paved with agath and precious stones. But nothing was 
impossible unto Archimedes, the learned contriver thereof; 
nor shall we question his removing the earth, when he finds 
an immoveable base to place his engine unto it. 

9. 7 That the Pamphilian sea gave way unto Alexander, in 
his intended march toward Persia, many have been apt to 
credit, and Josephus is willing to believe, to countenance the 
passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. But Strabo, 
who writ before him, delivereth another account; that the 
mountain climax, adjoining to the Pamphilian sea, leaves a 
narrow passage between the sea and it ; which passage at an 
ebb and quiet sea all men take ; but Alexander coming in 
the winter, and eagerly pursuing his affairs, would not wait 
for the reflux or return of the sea ; and so was fain to pass 
with his army in the water, and march up to the navel in it. 

10. The relation of Plutarch, of a youth of Sparta that 
suffered a fox, concealed under his robe, to tear out his 
bowels before he would, either by voice or countenance, be- 
tray his theft; and the other, of the Spartan lad, that with 
the same resolution suffered a coal from the altar to burn his 
arm ; although defended by the author that writes his life, is 

7 9.] First added in the (5th edition. 




I perceive mistrusted by men of judgment, and the author, 
with an aiunt, is made to salve himself. Assuredly it was a 
noble nation that could afford an hint to such inventions of 
patience, and upon whom, if not such verities, at least such 
verisimilities of fortitude were placed. Were the story true, 
they would have made the only disciples for Zeno and the 
Stoicks, and might perhaps have been persuaded to laugh in 
Phalaris his bull. 

11. If any man shall content his belief with the speech of 
Balaam's ass, without a belief of that of Mahomet's camel, or 
Livy's ox ; if any man makes a doubt of Giges' ring in Jus- 
tinus, or conceives he must be a Jew that believes the sab- 
batical river 8 in Josephus ; if any man will say he doth not 
apprehend how the tail of an African wether out-weigheth 
the body of a good calf, that is, an hundred pounds, accord- 
ing unto Leo Africanus, 9 or desires, before belief, to behold 
such a creature as is the ruck 1 in Paulus Venetus, — for my 
part I shall not be angry with his incredulity. 

8 the sabbatical river. ~\ A singular dis- 
crepancy exists on this point between the 
statement of Josephus and that of Pliny. 
The former (De Bell. Jud. lib. vii, c. 24) 
saying that the river flows on sabbath, 
but rests on every other day ; — while Pliny 
( Hist. Nat. xxxi, § 13) relates that it 
flows most impetuously all the week, but 
is dry on the sabbath. All the Jewish 
rabbinical authorities adopt the latter as 
the fact, in opposition to Josephus, whose 
account is so singular, that several of his 
commentators have not hesitated to sup- 
pose a transposition to have occurred in 
his text, producing the error in question. 
Our poetical Walton alludes to this mar- 
vellous river, but he has adopted the 
proposed correction, citing Josephus as 
his authority, but giving the Plinian ver- 
sion of the story, doubtless thinking it 
most fit that the river should allow the 
angler to repose on Sunday, and afford 
him, during the six other days, " choice 
recreation." The classical authorities de- 
clare that the river has long since vanish- 
ed. But recently, a learned Jew, Rabbi 
Edrehi, has announced a work, asserting 
the discovery of the lost river, but affirm- 
ing it to be a river of sand! This is apt 
to recal to mind an old proverb about 
" twisting a rope of sand !" 

As for the "marvellous" of the story, 

it strikes me, that — only grant the ex- 
istence of water-corn-mills in the time of 
the Emperor Titus, (which it is not for 
me to deny,) — and the whole is perfectly 
intelligible. The mills had been at work 
during the week, keeping up a head of 
water which had rushed along with a 
velocity (as Josephus describes it) suffi- 
cient to carry with it stones and frag- 
ments of rocks. On sabbath-day the 
miller " shut down," and let all the water 
run through, by which means the river 
was laid almost dry. What should hinder, 
in these days of hypothesis, our adopting 
so ready and satisfactory a solution ? 

9 Leo Africanus.] What weights Leo 
Africanus meanes is doubtfull. Some 
have been brought hither, that being fat- 
ted, coulde scarcely carye their tayles : 
though I know not, why nature, that 
hung such a weight behinde, should not 
enable the creature to drag itt after him 
by the strength of his backe, as the stag 
to carye as great a weight on his heade 
only. — Wr. 

1 ruck.~\ Surely the rue was but one, 
like the phcenix, but revives not like the 
phoenix. — Wr. 

The roc of the Arabian Nights, con- 
jectured to have originated in the Ameri- 
can condor. 


12. If any one shall receive, as stretched or fabulous ac- 
counts, what is delivered of Codes, Scaevola, and Curtius, 
the sphere of Archimedes, the story of the Amazons, the 
taking of the city of Babylon, not known to some therein in 
three days after, that the nation was deaf which dwelt at the 
fall of Nilus, the laughing and weeping humour of Heracli- 
tus and Democritus, with many more, he shall not want 
some reason and the authority of Lancelotti.* 

13. If any man doubt of the strange antiquities delivered 
by historians, as of the wonderful corpse of Antasus untombed 
a thousand years after his death by Sertorius ; whether there 
were no deceit in those fragments of the ark, so common to 
be seen in the days of Berosus; whether the pillar which 
Josephus beheld long ago, Tertullian long after, and Bar- 
tholomeus de Saligniaco and Bochardus long since, be the 
same with that of Lot's wife ; whether this were the hand of 
Paul, or that which is commonly shewn the head of Peter ; 
if any doubt, I shall not much dispute with their suspicions. 
If any man shall not believe the turpentine tree betwixt Je- 
rusalem and Bethlehem, under which the virgin suckled our 
Saviour as she passed between those cities ; or the fig-tree of 
Bethany, shewed to this day, whereon Zaccheus ascended to 
behold our Saviour ; I cannot tell how to enforce his belief, 
nor do I think it requisite to attempt it. For, as it is no rea- 
sonable proceeding to compel a religion, or think to enforce 
our own belief upon another, who cannot without the concur- 
rence of God's Spirit have any indubitable evidence of things 
that are obtruded, so is it also in matters of common belief; 
whereunto neither can we indubitably assent, without the 
co-operation of our sense or reason, wherein consist the prin- 
ciples of persuasion. For, as the habit of faith in divinity is 
an argument of things unseen, and a stable assent unto things 
inevident, upon authority of the Divine Revealer, — so the 
belief of man, which depends upon human testimony, is but a 
staggering assent unto the affirmative, not without some fear 
of the negative. And as there is required the Word of God, 
or infused inclination unto the one, so must the actual sensa- 

* Farfallon't Historic/. 


tion of our senses,'- at least the non-opposition of our reasons, 
procure our assent and acquiescence in the other. So when 
Eusebius, an holy writer, affirmeth, there grew a strange and 
unknown plant near the statue of Christ, erected by his hae- 
morrhoidal patient in the gospel, which attaining unto the 
hem of his vesture, acquired a sudden faculty to cure all 
diseases ; although, 3 he saith, he saw the statue in his days, 
yet hath it not found in many men so much as human belief. 
Some believing, others opinioning, a third suspecting it might 
be otherwise. For indeed, in matters of belief, the under- 
standing assenting unto the relation, either for the authoiuty 
of the person, or the probability of the object, although there 
may be a confidence of the one, yet if there be not be a satis- 
faction in the other, there will arise suspensions ; nor can we 
properly believe until some argument of reason, or of our 
proper sense, convince or determine our dubitations. 

And thus it is also in matters of certain and experimented 
truth. For if unto one that never heard thereof, a man 
should undertake to persuade the affections of the loadstone, 
or that jet and amber attract straws and light bodies, there 
would be little rhetorick in the authority of Aristotle, Pliny, 
or any other. Thus although it be true that the string of a 
lute or viol will stir upon the stroke of an unison or diapason 
in another of the same kind ; that alcanna being green, will 
suddenly infect the nails and other parts with a durable red ; 
that a candle out of a musket will pierce through an inch 
board, or an urinal force a nail through a plank ; yet can few 
or none believe thus much without a visible experiment. 
Which notwithstanding falls out more happily for knowledge ; 
for these relations leaving unsatisfaction in the hearers, do 
stir up ingenuous dubiosities unto experiment, and by an 
exploration of all, prevent delusion in any. 

2 senses.] And that this was not want- cil at Nice : who sayes he saw the sta- 
ing to make good the storye in parte, is tue, but repeates the storye of the plant 
evident in the very next section. — Wr. out of Africanus, who lived within the 

3 although, eye] Why may wee not be- 200th yeare of Christ : and out of Ter- 
leave that there was such a plant at the tullian, who lived within 120 yeares after 
l'oote of that statue upon the report of this miracle was wrought upon the hse- 
the ecclesiastick story, publisht in the morroidall that erected the statue. For 
third ecumenical council at Ephesus, as though the plant lived not till his time, 
wel as the statue itselfe upon the report yet itt was as fresh in meinorye in the 
of Eusebius at the first ecumenical coun- church as when it first grewe. — Wr. 

VOL. III. 2 B 





Of some Relations whose truth we fear. 

Lastly, as there are many relations whereto we cannot 
assent, and make some doubt thereof, so there are divers 
others whose verities we fear, and heartily wish there were 
no truth therein. 

1. It is an insufferable affront unto filial piety, and a deep 
discouragement unto the expectation of all aged parents, who 
shall but read the story of that barbarous queen, who, after 
she had beheld her royal parent's ruin, lay yet in the arms of 
his assassin, and caroused with him in the skull of her father. 
For my part, I should have doubted the operation of anti- 
mony, where such a potion would not work ; 't was an act, 
methinks, beyond anthropophagy, and a cup fit to be served 
up only at the table of Atreus. 4 

4 barbarous queen, <^c] If this relates 
to the story of Alboin, it is not correctly 
noticed. I give it from Lardner's Cyclo- 
paedia; — Europe during the Middle Ages. 

" Few dynasties have been so un- 
fortunate as that of the Lombards. Al- 
boin, its founder, had not wielded the 
sceptre four years, when he became the 
victim of domestic treason : the man- 
ner is worth relating, as characteristic of 
the people. During his residence in Pan- 
nonia, this valiant chief had overcome 
and slain Cunimond, king of the Gepidae, 
whose skull, in conformity with a barba- 
rous custom of his nation, he had fash- 
ioned into a drinking cup. Though he 
had married Rosamond, daughter of Cu- 
nimond, in his festive entertainments he 
was by no means disposed to forego the 
triumph of displaying the trophy. In 
one held at Verona, he had the inhu- 
manity to invite his consort to drink to 
her father, while he displayed the cup, 
and, for the first time, revealed its his- 
tory in her preseuce. His vanity cost 
him dear : if she concealed her abhor- 
rence, it settled into a deadly feeling. 
By the counsel of Helmich, a confiden- 

tial officer of the court, she opened her 
heart to Peredeo, one of the bravest cap- 
tains of the Lombards ; and when she 
could not persuade him to assassinate his 
prince, she had recourse to an expedient, 
which proves, that in hatred as in love, 
woman knows no measure. Personating 
a mistress of Peredeo, she silently and in 
darkness stole to his bed ; and when her 
purpose was gained, she threatened him 
with the vengeance of an injured hus- 
band, unless he consented to become a 
regicide. The option was soon made : 
accompanied by Helmich, Peredeo was 
led to the couch of the sleeping king, 
whose arms had been previously remov- 
ed ; and, after a short struggle, the deed 
of blood was consummated. The jus- 
tice of heaven never slumbers : if Alboin 
was thus severely punished for his inhu- 
manity, fate avenged him of his murder- 
ers. To escape the suspicious enmity of 
the Lombards, the queen and Helmich 
fled to Ravenna, which at this period 
depended on the Greek empire. There 
the exarch, coveting the treasures which 
she had brought from Verona, offered 
her his hand, on condition she removed 


2. While we laugh at the story of Pygmalion, and receive 
as a fable that he fell in love with a statue ; we cannot but 
fear it may be true, what is delivered by Herodotus concern- 
ing the Egyptian pollinctors, or such as anointed the dead ; 
that some thereof were found in the act of carnality with 
them. From wits that say 't is more than incontinency for 
Hylas to sport with Hecuba, and youth to flame in the frozen 
embraces of age, we require a name for this : wherein Petro- 
nius or Martial cannot relieve us. The tyranny of Mezen- 
tius * did never equal the vitiosity of this incubus, that could 
embrace corruption, and make a mistress of the grave ; that 
could not resist the dead provocations of beauty, 5 whose 
quick invitements scarce excuse submission. Surely, if such 
depravities there be yet alive, deformity need not despair ; 
nor will the eldest hopes be ever superannuated, since death 
hath spurs, and carcasses have been courted. 

3. I am heartily sorry, and wish it were not true, what to 
the dishonour of Christianity is affirmed of the Italian ; who 
after he had inveigled his enemy to disclaim his faith for the 
redemption of his life, did presently poiniard him, to prevent 
repentance, and assure his eternal death. The villany of 
this Christian exceeded the persecution of heathens, whose 
malice was never so longimanous f as to reach the soul 
of their enemies, or to extend unto an exile of their 
elysiums. And though the blindness of some ferities have 
savaged on the bodies of the dead, and been so injurious 
unto worms, as to disinter the bodies of the deceased, yet 
had they therein no design upon the soul ; and have been so 
far from the destruction of that, or desires of a perpetual 
death, that for the satisfaction of their revenge they wish 
them many souls, and were it in their power would have re- 
duced them unto life again. It is a great depravity in our 

* Who tied dead and living bodies together. f Long-handed. 

her companion. Such a woman was not her, under the raised sword, to drink 

likely to hesitate. To gratify one pas- the rest. The same hour ended their 

sion she had planned a deed of blood — guilt and lives. Peredeo, the third cul- 

to gratify another, her ambition, she pre- prit, fled to Constantinople, where a fate 

sented a poisoned cup to her lover, in no less tragical awaited him." 

the bath. After drinking a portion, his 5 dead provocations of beaut (/,] Provo- 

suspicions were kindled, and he forced cations of dead beauty. — Wr. 

2 B 2 


natures, and surely an affection that somewhat savoureth of 
hell, to desire the society, or comfort ourselves in the fellow- 
ship of others that suffer with us ; but to procure the miseries 
of others in those extremities, wherein we hold an hope to 
have no society ourselves, is methinks a strain above Lucifer, 
and a project beyond the primary seduction of hell. 

4. I hope it is not true, and some indeed have probably 
denied, what is recorded of the monk that poisoned Henry 
the Emperor, in a draught of the holy Eucharist. 'T was a 
scandalous wound unto the Christian religion, and I hope all 
Pagans will forgive it, when they shall read that a Christian 
was poisoned in a cup of Christ, and received his bane in a 
draught of his salvation. 6 Had he believed transubstantiation, 
he would have doubted the effect ; and surely the sin itself 
received an aggravation in that opinion. It much commendeth 
the innocency of our forefathers, and the simplicity of those 
times, whose laws could never dream so high a crime as par- 
ricide : whereas this at the least may seem to out-reach that 
fact, and to exceed the regular distinctions of murder. I 
will not say what sin it was to act it ; yet may it seem a kind of 
martyrdom to suffer by it. For, although unknowingly, he 
died for Christ his sake, and lost his life in the ordained tes- 
timony of his death. Certainly had they known it, some noble 
zeals would scarcely have refused it ; rather adventuring their 
own death, than refusing the memorial of his. 7 

Many other accounts like these we meet sometimes in his- 
tory, scandalous unto Christianity, and even unto humanity; 
whose verities not only, but whose relations, honest minds do 
deprecate. For of sins heteroclital, and such as want either 
name or precedent, there is oft-times a sin even in their his- 
tories. We desire no records of such enormities; sins should 
be accounted new, that so they may be esteemed monstrous. 

G 'T 'was a scandalous wound, eye] It is very foolish zeale, and little less than 

said that Ganganelli, Pope Clement xiv, selfe murder to have taken that sacra - 

was thus dispatched by the Jesuits. In mentall, wherin they had knowne poy- 

the Universal Magazine for 1776, vol. 5, son to have been put. The rejection of 

p. 215, occurs an account of that poison- that particular cup had not been any re- 

ing of the sacramental wine at Zurich, fusal of remembring his death. This 

by a grave digger, by which a number therefore needs an index expurgatorius, 

of communicants lost their lives. and a deleatur, and soe wee have accord - 

7 Than refusing, Sfc,] Itt had been a ingly canceld itt. — Jf'r. 


They amit of monstrosity as they fall from their rarity ; for men 
count it venial to err with their forefathers, and foolishly con- 
ceive they divide a sin in its society. The pens of men may suf- 
ficiently expatiate without these singularities of villany ; for, as 
they increase the hatred of vice in some, so do they enlarge 
the theory of wickedness in all. And this is one thing that 
may make latter ages worse than were the former ; for, the 
vicious examples of ages past poison the curiosity of these 
present, affording a hint 8 of sin unto seducible spirits, and 
soliciting those unto the imitation of them, whose heads were 
never so perversely principled as to invent them. In this 
kind we commend the wisdom and goodness of Galen, who 
would not leave unto the world too subtle a theory of poi- 
sons ; unarming thereby the malice of venomous spirits, 
whose ignorance must be contented with sublimate and arse- 
nic. For, surely there are subtler venenations, such as will 
invisibly destroy, and like the basilisks of heaven. In things 
of this nature silence commendeth history : 't is the veniable 
part of things lost ; wherein there must never rise a Pan- 
cirollus,* nor remain any register, but that of hell. 

And yet, if, as some Stoicks opinion, and Seneca himself 
disputeth, these unruly affections that make us sin such pro- 
digies, and even sins themselves be animals, there is a history 
of Africa and story of snakes in these. And if the transa- 
nimation of Pythagoras, or method thereof were true, that 
the souls of men transmigrated into species answering their 
former natures ; some men must surely live over many ser- 
pents, and cannot escape that very brood, whose sire Satan 
entered. And though the objection of Plato should take 
place, that bodies subjected unto corruption must fail at last 
before the period of all things, and growing fewer in number 
must leave some souls apart unto themselves, the spirits of 
many long before that time will find but naked habitations; 

* Who writ De antiquis deperditis, or of inventions lost. 

8 Affording, <^c.] Itt is noe doubte but posing some questions to the confitents 
that some casuists have much to answere teach them to knowe some sinns wherof 
for that sinn of curiosity, who by pro- they would never have thought. — Wr. 


and, meeting no assimilables wherein to re-act their natures, 
must certainly anticipate such natural desolations. 

Primus sapientice gradus est, falsa intelligere. — Lactant. 


Cfje <^arUen of Cpruau 








Quid Quincunce speciosius, 
qui, in quamcunque partem spectaveris, rectus est ? — Quinctilian. 



In arranging the present edition, I have endeavoured to pre- 
serve the order in which the several works were first publish- 
ed ; and at the same time to bring together, as far as possi- 
ble, similar subjects. To secure these objects, I have placed 
the Hydriotaphia between the Garden of Cyrus and the 
Brampton Urns ; though in the first edition of the two former 
pieces, the author placed the Garden of Cyrus last ; as he 
has noticed in his preface to it. 

That edition was published in 1658, in sm. 8vo. : the title, 
epistles (to both discourses), and a plate of four urns, occupy 
a sheet, on the last page of which }s the plate, facing the first 
page of the work, which extends to thirteen sheets — 208 pp. 
viz. Hydriotaphia, 84 pp. — Garden of Cyrus, 124 pp. the first 
four containing the plate and title, with two blanks, and the 
last six pp. containing " The Stationer to the Reader" "Books 
printed for Hen. Broome" and a label, " Dr. Browne's Gar- 
den of Cyrus," in large letters printed down the middle of the 
page, and evidently intended to be pasted at the back of the 
volume. This edition is not commonly met with perfect. 

The Second edition is that which appeared with the Fourth 
edition of Pseudodoxia, under the direction of its author ; who 
has prefixed to the volume two pages of " Marginal Illustra- 
tions omitted, or to be added to the Discourses of Urn-burial, 
and of the Garden of Cyrus ;" with "Errata in the Enqui- 
ries," and " in the discourses annexed? 

The Third edition, in double columns, was printed with 
the sixth of Religio Medici, as an addition to the third* of 

* Erroneously called the fourth, in my preface to Religio Medici, vol. ii, p. x. 

378 editor's preface. 

Pseudodoxia, in folio. But one title-page only accompanied 
the three pieces : viz. Religio Medici ; whereunto is added 
a Discourse of the Sepulchrall Urnes, lately found in Norfolk. 
Together with the Garden of Cyrus, or the Quincunciall 
Lozenge, or Net-work Plantations of the Ancients, Arti- 
ficially, Naturally, Mystically considered. With Sundry 
Observations. By Thomas Brown, Doctour of Physick. 
Printed for the Good of the Commonwealth. No date. That 
the later edition of the Tracts should have accompanied the 
earlier of the two editions of Pseudodoxia, published in 1658, 
requires explanation. It appears that in 1658 Ekins published 
the third edition, in folio, and Dod the fourth, with a cor- 
rected reprint of the two " Discourses," in 4to. To meet 
this, Ekins printed the very inferior edition, just described, 
of Religio Medici, &c. and brought out his folio, with a fresh 
title, dated 1659. 

The Fourth edition of the two Discourses was printed with 
the fifth of Pseudodoxia, in 1669. But, most absurdly, 
the " Marginal Illustrations, &c." instead of being incor- 
porated in the edition, are reprinted as a table, and not even 
the pages altered to suit the edition ! 

The (Fifth) edition was published by Abp. Tenison, 
with the "AVorks" in folio, 1686. 

In 1736, Curl reprinted, (in an 8vo. tract of 60 pages, 
with 6 pp. of Epistles, &c.) the Hydriotaphia, Brampton 
Urns, and the ninth of the Miscellany Tracts, " Of Artifi- 
cial Hills, $-e." followed by the first three chapters only, 
(unless my copy is imperfect,) of the Garden of Cyrus — in 
40 pages — with 6 pp. of Title and Epistle Dedicatory. This 
is called the Fourth edition, but is in fact the Sixth. 

Of the Garden of Cyrus, the present is the Seventh 
edition ; but of Hydriotaphia it is the Eighth ; for Mr. 
Croseley included this latter discourse with Letter to a Friend 
and Museum Clausum. He has altered the division: — calling 
the first chapter Introduction, and the remaining chapters 
Sections 1, 2, 3, 4. I observe, too, that he has, in several 
instances, altered the phraseology, in his neat little selection 
of Browne's Tracts, published at Edinburgh in 1822. 

The First edition of the account of the Brampton Urns 

editor's preface. 379 

was published with the Posthumous Works, in 1712; the 
Second by Curl (as just mentioned) in 1736. The present 
is the Third. 

I have not met with any MS. copy either of Hydriota- 
phia or the Garden of Cyrus, though many passages occur 
in MSS. Sloan. 1847, 1848, and 1882— which were evidently 
written for these discourses. Several of the variations they 
exhibit, from the printed text, are pointed out in the notes. 

Of the Brampton Urns I have met with three copies, differ- 
ing from each other and more or less complete, in the British 
Museum and Bodleian Libraries, namely, Brit. Mus. MS. 
Sloan. No. 1862, p. 26; No. 1869, p. 60;— and Bibl. Bodl. 
MaS*. Rawlins. 391 ; — from the first of which Curl's edition 
was (incorrectly) printed, and with all of which it has, in the 
present edition, been carefully collated. 

I have modernized the spelling, and endeavoured to improve 
the pointing of the Garden of Cyrus and Hydriotaphia, as 
of all Browne's other works ; but the phraseology, (as cha- 
racteristick of the writer,) I have not thought it right, (except 
in very rare instances, and those acknowledged,) to touch. 
For this reason, I have even denied myself the adoption of 
several decided improvements, (though but slight alterations,) 
introduced by my friend Mr. Crossley, in the Hydriotaphia. 

With respect to the Brampton Urns, which (like the Mis- 
cellany Tracts) never met his own eye in print, I have felt my- 
self far more unfettered ; and have used my own discretion as 
to a choice of various readings supplied by the several copies 
which I have found ; selecting from them those which I pre- 

A few words will suffice respecting the notes attached to 
this edition. If any one object that a letter from Dr. 
Power to Sir Thomas, with his reply, ought to have appeared 
among the Correspondence, instead of being thrown into the 
form of notes, * my defence is, that, though formally " Cor- 
respondence," they are substantially "Notes and Illustra- 
tions," and those of the most interesting kind. Dr. Power's 
letter is the work of an enthusiastick lover of the mysteries of 
natural science ; and Sir Thomas's reply places him in the 

* At page 405. 

380 editor's preface. 

new light of his own commentator. The Garden of Cyrus 
has, by general consent, been regarded as one of the most 
fanciful of his works. The most eminent even of his admir- 
ers have treated it as a mere sport of the imagination, " in the 
prosecution of which, he considers every production of art and 
nature, in which he could find any decussation or approaches 
to the form of a quincunx, and, as a man once resolved upon 
ideal discoveries, seldom searches long in vain, he finds his 
favourite figure in almost every thing;" — "quincunxes," as 
Coleridge says, "in heaven above, quincunxes in earth below, 
quincunxes in the mind of man, quincunxes in tones, in optic 
nerves, in roots of trees, in leaves, in every thing. " * The 
increased attention, however, which modern naturalists have 
paid to the prevalence of certain numbers in the distribution 
of nature, and Mr. Macleay's persevering and successful ad- 
vocacy of a quinary arrangement would naturally lead an 
admirer of Browne to look at this work in a higher point of 
view than as a mere jeu d 'esprit. How far, in short, has he 
anticipated in this work — as he certainly must be allowed to 
have done in the Pseudodoxia, — those who have conducted 
their inquiries in the midst of incomparably greater light and 
knowledge, and with the advantage of an immensely increas- 
ed accumulation of facts and observations of every kind ? For 
an answer to this question I refer to the notes of E. W. Bray- 
ley, Jun. Esq. especially at pp. 413, 423, 439, 446. 

* See Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, vol. vii, 161>. 




Had I not observed that purblind * men have discoursed well 
of sight, and some without issue, f excellently of generation ; 
I, that was never master of any considerable garden, had not 
attempted this subject. But the earth is the garden of na- 
ture, and each fruitful country a paradise. Dioscorides made 
most of his observations in his march about with Antonius; 
and Theophrastus raised his generalities chiefly from the field. 
Besides, we write no herbal, nor can this volume deceive you, 
who have handled the massiest J thereof: who know that 

* Plempius, Cabeus, &c. f Dr. Harvey. % Besleri Hortus Eystetensis. 

1 Nicholas Bacon, of Gillingham, Esq.~\ Dr. Thomas Lushington's, which had 

Created a baronet, Feb. 7, 1661, by come into his hands in MS. from the au- 

Charles II. His father was the sixth thor, entitled, Logica Analytica, de Prin- 

son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, who was cipiis, Itegulis, et Usu Rationis rectce, 

created premier baronet of England, lib. 3, Lond. 1650, 8vo. ; and gave this 

May 22, 1611, by James I, and was the as his motive : — " Propter operis perfec- 

eldest son of the Lord Keeper of Q,. Eli- tionem, in quo nihil dictum, quod non sta- 

zabeth, and half-brother of Francis, Lord tim probatum est, vel a principiis, primo 

Bacon, the Lord Keeper's youngest son et per se notis, vel a propositionibus inde 

by a second marriage. demonstrates : deinde etiam propter ejus 

This gentleman was a man of letters, usum, vel fructum erimiam. — Wood's 

and a patron of learning ; and intimately Athena, by Bliss, iii, 530. He died in 

acquainted with Browne, several of whose his 43rd year in 1666, leaving two sons, 

Miscellany Tracts were addressed to him : Sir Edmund and Sir Richard, who both 

as we are informed by Evelyn. — (See succeeded to the Gillingham baronetcy ; 

vol. iv, p. 121, note 1.) He is mentioned but, both dying s. p., it became extinct, 
by Wood as having published a work of 


three folios * are yet too little, and how new herbals fly from 
America upon us ; from persevering enquirers, and hold f in 
those singularities, we expect such descriptions. Wherein Eng- 
land J is now so exact, that it yields not to other countries. 

We pretend not to multiply vegetable divisions by quincun- 
cial and reticulate plants; or erect a new phytology. The 
field of knowledge hath been so traced, it is hard to spring 
any thing new. Of old things we write something new, if 
truth may receive addition, or envy will have any thing new ; 
since the ancients knew the late anatomical discoveries, and 
Hippocrates the circulation. 

You have been so long out of trite learning, that 't is hard 
to find a subject proper for you ; and if you have met with a 
sheet upon this, we have missed our intention. In this mul- 
tiplicity of writing, by and barren themes are best fitted for 
invention ; subjects so often discoursed confine the imagina- 
tion, and fix our conceptions unto the notions of fore- writers. 
Besides, such discourses allow excursions, and venially admit 
of collateral truths, though at some distance from their prin- 
cipals. Wherein if we sometimes take wide liberty, we are 
not single, but err by great example. § 

He that will illustrate the excellency of this order, may ea- 
sily fail upon so spruce a subject, wherein we have not af- 
frighted the common reader with any other diagrams, than 
of itself; and have industriously declined illustrations from 
rare and unknown plants. 

Your discerning judgment, so well acquainted with that 
study, will expect herein no mathematical truths, as well un- 
derstanding how few generalities and Ufinitas || there are in 
nature ; how Scaliger hath found exceptions in most univer- 
sal of Aristotle and Theophrastus ; how botanical maxims 
must have fair allowance, and are tolerably current, if not in- 
tolerably over-balanced by exceptions. 

* Bauhini Thcatrum Botanicum. 

f My worthy friend M. Goodier, an ancient and learned botanist. 

.•J; As in London and divers parts, whereof we mention none, lest we seem to omit any. 

§ Hippocrates de superfoetatione, de dentitione. \\ Rules without exceptions. 2 

2 rules without exceptions.'] This is, tremo, Ufinita producuntur omnia," — of 
no doubt, an allusion to the well known which Browne here (most characteristi- 
and invariable rule in prosody, — "Pos- cally) avails himself in a proverbial sense. 


You have wisely ordered your vegetable delights, beyond 
the reach of exception. The Turks who past their days in 
gardens here, will have also gardens hereafter, and delighting 
in flowers on earth, must have lilies and roses in heaven. 
In garden delights 't is not easy to hold a mediocrity ; that 
insinuating pleasure is seldom without some extremity. The 
ancients venially delighted in flourishing gardens ; many were 
florists that knew not the true use of a flower ; and in 
Pliny's days none had directly treated of that subject. 
Some commendably affected plantations of venomous vege- 
tables, some confined their delights unto single plants, and 
Cato seemed to dote upon cabbage ; while the ingenuous 
delight of tulipists, stands saluted with hard language, even 
by their own professors."* 

That in this garden discourse, we range into extraneous 
things, and many parts of art and nature, we follow herein 
the example of old and new plantations, wherein noble 
spirits contented not themselves with trees, but by the attend- 
ance of aviaries, fish-ponds, and all variety of animals, they 
made their gardens the epitome of the earth, and some 
resemblance of the secular shows of old. 

That we conjoin these parts of different subjects, or that 
this should succeed the other, 1 your judgment will admit 
without impute of incongruity ; since the delightful world 
comes after death, and paradise succeeds the grave. Since 
the verdant state of things is the symbol of the resurrection, 
and to flourish in the state of glory, we must first be sown 
in corruption: — besides the ancient practice of noble persons, 
to conclude in garden-graves, and urns themselves of old 
to be wrapt up with flow